Sandra A. “Sonie” Olson


Sandra A. “Sonie” Olson, age 88, of Oquawka, Illinois, passed away at 3:33 AM on Saturday, May 11, 2024 at The Klein Center in West Burlington, Iowa. She was born July 5, 1935 in Bennett, Nebraska, the daughter of Francis Lynn and Alice Lucille (Hall) Hagaman. She was raised in Bennett, graduating from Bennett High School. Sandra then attended the Bryan School of Nursing and Lincoln General Hospital Nursing Program to obtain her degree in nursing. On October 21, 1962, she married George H. Olson, Jr. in Galesburg, Illinois and he preceded her in death on June 3, 2003.

Sandra was a registered nurse her entire 58 year career. She began work at Queen’s Hospital in Hawaii. She then worked at the Burlington Hospitals until her retirement. Along with her husband George, she owned and operated the Oquawka Diner for over 50 years. Sandra enjoyed work, reading romance novels, and crocheting. Mostly, she loved her family and friends. 

Sandra is survived by on daughter, Alice Calkins of Oquawka, Illinois, two sons, George (Brenda) Olson III of Oquawka, Illinois and John (Lyndsay) Olson of Biggsville, Illinois, her grandchildren, Brandon, Megan, Ashley, Mackenzie, George IV, Jacob, Christopher, Vivian, and Kaylyn, and ten great-grandchildren. Also surviving are two sisters, Arletta Norman and Nancy Kunishige. Sandra is preceded in death by her parents, husband George, two brothers, Ronnie and Jerry, and son-in-law Russell Calkins

As were Sandra’s wishes, cremation is being accorded. No services are currently planned. A memorial has been established for the Oquawka Methodist Church. For more information, or to leave and remembrance of Sandra, please visit

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