Willard “Bill” Paul Olson

Willard “Bill” Paul Olson

August 06, 1939 - May 23, 2021
Mission Viejo California

Willard “Bill” Paul Olson

August 06, 1939 - May 23, 2021
Mission Viejo California


Willard (Bill) Paul OIson
August 6, 1939 – May 23, 2021

Bill loved the Lord and was very active in his church. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend. He was an encouragement to all. His gentle and kind spirit will live in our hearts forever.

Dr. Olson’s formal education was mostly at UCLA where he received BS, MA and PhD degrees in physics. He chose to stay on at UCLA after his bachelor’s degree because both his wife and UCLA’s men’s basketball coach John Wooden (who led their team to ten NCAA national championships) were there. He also obtained the Executive Program degree from UCI. While at UCLA, he worked at the RAND Corporation, was a Ford Foundation Fellow, and held a NASA Traineeship.

His working career has been all about science and engineering, with two overlapping parts. The first half was in research on space plasmas and fields (over one hundred papers and presentations to national and international meetings, active on several national and international committees and in local universities). He gradually moved into management and retired as Senior Vice President of the space and defense sector of McDonnell Douglas. Along the way, he was honored to become a Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, a Fellow of the American Astronautical Society, and to receive Rotary International’s National Award for Space Achievement. In his years in upper management, he continued to support UCI and was a member of its Chancellor’s Roundtable.

Bill is survived by his wife, Linda; his son Keith and his wife, Michele; his son Kristian; his three grandchildren: Hayley, Hunter and Conner; his 2 great granddaughters, Elliana and Gracie; his brother Craig; his sister Karen and her family.

Bill’s memorial service will be held on July 24, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Presbyterian Church of the Master, 26051 Marguerite Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92692.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like remembrances in his name be sent to:

Presbyterian Church of the Master
26051 Marguerite Pkwy
Mission Viejo, CA 92692


Samaritan’s Purse
P.O. Box 3000
Boone, SC 28607


Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: July 24, 2021 (11:00 AM)
  • Venue: Presbyterian Church Of The Master
  • Location: 26051 Marguerite Pkwy. Mission Viejo, CA 92692 - (Get Directions)

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5 responses to Willard “Bill” Paul Olson

  1. Don Roberson says:

    Kathi and I will be back for the July Service

  2. To Bill’s Family,
    God created such a unique and wonderful individual when He created Bill in His image. He was imaginative, intelligent, kind, caring, faithful, fun-loving and filled with God’s Spirit. To know him was to love and respect his character and cherish him as a dear friend. He served His Lord in so many wonderful ways, always a willing volunteer and leader. We will always cherish our growing and fellowship times together in our small faith group since 2002, our trip to Hawaii and our game nights. Bill was always an encourager filling the room with his smile and hopeful comments, rallying us all to continue “running the good race” and testifying to his faith in Christ. We will greatly miss him and look forward to the time when we will see him again in glory.
    Our prayers and love are with his family.

  3. Teri Bishop says:

    Thank you Bill for being you, filled with the Holy Spirit and displaying the fruits of the spirit for as long as I can remember. May God bless and keep your family and may His love comfort each of you.

  4. When we think of Bill, we will always remember his laugh and warm smile. His love of the Lord and his love for others was evident for all to see. We will always cherish the time we had with him and feel blessed to have known him. We enjoyed many golf outings and golf vacations together. Bill was an ideal person to travel with because of his easy going personality and desire to put others before himself. On the golf course his worst show of anger was to let the club drop from his hands to the ground after a bad shot. In our evening card or Rummy Tile games, he and Linda brought their genial and competitive spirit to the table, with a sense of gratitude that at our age we could enjoy all we did. Someday in the future, we will meet again in the presence of our Lord!

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