William K. Olson
William K. Olson better known as Bill or WKO passed away peacefully on September 29, 2014 at 88 years of age. Born July 11, 1926 in Great Falls Montana to Katherine and Erie Olson. He and his younger brother Ed grew up in Montana loving to fish and be outdoors. Helping their father in his diner and café. He earned a degree at Montana State University and served the Navy during the Korean War. Soon after movied to California where he met Shirley Simon, whom he married and raised his family with over the next 49 years. They had 3 children Laura Lynn, Mark and Teresa.
The 70’s arrived and he moved the family to Santa Barbara from Huntington Beach. This brought the Olson clan together with his Mother, Brother Ed and his family. Looking for something to support his family during the era of downsizing and the gas crisis he bought into Roy’s Family Bike Shop with his neighbor, Roy Simon. Building on his interest of the outdoors and an early view toward environmentalism this became Bike N Hike on Coast Village Rd. in Montecito. Bill, Shirley and all 3 of their children rolled up their sleeves and made it a huge part of their family. To this day you can’t mention Bike N Hike without striking a great memory of an era with anyone that grew up in Montecito between the 1970’s and 90’s! It was a icon in the community. People grew up there. Bill was known as a kind and generous man. Bill never forgot community. Coast Village was quite different in the early 70’s. He bought meals for many of the homeless, fix bikes for free or gave rides to people in need of someplace they needed to be. He started the original Santa Barbara Bicycle Club, The Coast Village Association, Montecito Days and later began and presided as president of the Montecito Rotary Club, which helped out the Friendship Center for aging adults, which his mother Katherine attended.
The 1980’s brought illness to his wife Shirley that led Bill to search for an answer to help her survive a rare liver disease. He set an example for his family of what going the distance for someone you love really is all about. All of Bill’s tireless efforts blessed Shirley and the family with another 20 years together. He and Shirley enjoyed trips and seeing the growth of 3 grandchildren Ian, Lauren and Weston.
After Shirley’s passing in 2007 dementia caught up with him among other things that slowed him down. He always surprised us with a great attitude and a good sense of humor. He loved all of his family and all the great people that assisted and helped him live happily over these past years. His smiles and “good wishes” will be missed but never forgotten. A private celebration of his life will be held Saturday 10/25. Any memories or thoughts you would like passed on we would love to receive. You can email to firstname.lastname@example.org Any gifts may be made in his memory to Buena Vista Hospice Care.