Let me begin by expressing my thanks to all who sent their condolences and prayers to our family for the loss of my brother. It meant a lot to me that so many would remember us during this trying time. Ernie Olson was an absolutely nice person and I don’t think anyone ever said a bad word about him. I didn’t grow up with Ernie in my household as I was adopted and only got to know Ernie when in my teens. He was younger than me, taller than me, and some say, much better looking, but I will dispute the last one. His unfortunate death was a shock to me since he seemed to be doing very well as far as his health went. He never married nor had any children and yet, he led a wonderful life. Ernie was a very devout individual and led a life of service to others. He took care of his folks and transported them around as needed. His mother passed about five months prior to him and I am sure, welcomed him into her arms. Even though Ernie didn’t leave any dependents, he was able to make differences in other’s lives. You see, Ernie left life insurance with the benefits to someone who will be able to change their life because of it. Talk about someone who some would say, didn’t do much to change the world, and I would say, he changed it more than any of us will ever realize. Because of his foresight, someone will attend college, and most likely, change their life forever. But it isn’t just their life, but those who come after them. One small gesture, mostly unnoticed, will alter the future. Ernie wasn’t selfish. He didn’t need life insurance. He could have used the money he paid for premiums to provide for himself. Not one to need to impress anyone, although at over 6’6”, he always did, Ernie lived simply, devoutly, and with a sense of pride. I was impressed with the number of people he touched and the outpouring of people who attended the visitation and memorial service. From the people who he attended church with, to the people he had coffee with, and even his classmates from central high, each told a story of how this young man had been special. If only each of us is remembered as fondly when we pass from this world.

Since none of us knows the day or the hour, I would suggest that you be prepared. Make a difference in your world as much as Ernie did. Thanks again to everyone for keeping Ernie’s family in your prayers.