Melissa Ross Olson

September 28, 1930 - January 12, 2022

Melissa Ross Olson, beloved mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and

staunch community supporter passed away January 12, 2022 in Silverdale.

Born September 28, 1930 on Mount Airy PA, Melissa moved with her family to Bremerton in 1945, and graduated from Central Kitsap High School as valedictorian in 1948. At Central Washington University she majored in science and math and minored in business, a highly unusual choice for

a woman at that time.

Following her college graduation, she taught

math at Bremerton High School. The following summer she took a job in Alaska where she met Robert Olson whom she married October 15, 1955.

In the early sixties they moved back to Kitsap County where they raised their growing family.

She and Bob built Towne Centre and owned it along with the Poplars Motel for many years.

A firm believer in the importance of strong community, Melissa happily and tirelessly remained behind the scenes quietly working to help strengthen the Silverdale community she so loved. Her wisdom, guidance, and generosity proved a lifeline for many families and small businesses. She was a charter member of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce, remaining active throughout her professional life. She was a faithful volunteer at all Lions Club events, as well as many, many Whaling Days festivals and parades starting with the very first one. She was an early advocate of the “shop local” movement and remained strongly committed to it throughout her life. She never sought recognition or praise for her truly countless kind deeds and contributions. She was the living embodiment of the Golden Rule and a beautiful example to those who knew and loved her.

Education was a lifelong passion, and in her later years she tutored math and reading at her grandchildrens’ schools, taking the time to learn the new teaching methods so she could use the same language the teachers used.

Though Melissa loved and cared about many things, her family was easily her greatest source of joy. She is forever in the hearts of her children Rod (Val) and Bruce Olson, Diane (Mike) Heesacker, and Denise (Bryan) Johnson, her grandchildren Garret and Autumn Johnson, Cassy Wyler, Jessie Olson (Sean Timmons), Tanner Olson, and Mitchell and Charlotte Heesacker, great grandchildren Gavin, Caylee, and Melissa Wyler, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Her grace, generosity, selflessness, and quiet intelligence and strength continue to serve as a beacon for those whose lives she touched. Our profound love for her is unending.

There will be a Celebration of Life at Silverdale Methodist Church on Saturday, March 26, 2022, at 1:00.

If you would like to make a donation in her honor, the family suggests the Alzheimer’s Association at, or Silverdale Lions Club.