Newport Port Commissioner Oly Olson has died of what appeared to be a massive heart attack while painting an outside deck of his home.
Oly Olson was a seven year resident of Newport and a native Oregonian having spent early years in Beaverton but attended High School and College in the Sacramento area. Oly retired in 2005 after a 36 year career with the National Park Service, rising to become a high ranking administrator at Yosemite National Park near Fresno.
Oly was always a hard worker at tackling community problems which no doubt prompted him to play a substantial role in Newport’s efforts to improve its local economy. He served tirelessly on the Port and Newport’s task force at moving forward with plans for a log export operation at the port’s International Terminal. When faced with opposition from neighbors living along a prime logging truck access route to the terminal, he immediately launched an effort to find an alternate one that would take some time to produce – but he believed it could be done.
Oly then ran for Newport Port Commissioner and won.
Oly consistently demonstrated that no matter how heated a debate became, it was never too late for cooler heads to prevail using well researched and thoughtful alternatives. Oly always thought outside the box.
Newport has lost a heckuva human being as well as an imaginative community booster and builder.