Carl Edwin Olsen, Jr.

Carl Edwin Olsen, Jr., 92, of Clifton passed away Sunday, August 25, 2019 at Lutheran Sunset Ministries. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, September 2, 2019 at the Olsen Railroad Museum.  

Carl Edwin “Pat” Olsen, Jr. was born to Carl Edwin Olsen and Elsie Duncan Olsen on May 3, 1927 on the campus of Texas A&M College in a house built by his father. His childhood was spent in Houston where he became an Eagle Scout. After graduating from San Jacinto High School, he went to Texas A&M where he majored in Industrial Engineering.  As a member of the class of 1947, in 1945 he volunteered for duty in the Navy as an electronics technician. He received training at the Navy’s facility in Chicago but the war ended prior to his deployment. He returned to Texas A&M and received his Bachelor’s degree in 1948 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the newly formed United States Air Force. He was called to active duty during the Korean conflict and served at Tyndall AFB in Florida.

After graduation from Texas A&M, he went to work for his father’s oil field equipment business, Gearench Manufacturing, where he worked as Executive Vice President. In the summer of 1964, with the transfer of Gearench’s headquarters from Houston to Clifton, he moved permanently to Clifton. After Gearench was sold in 1978 Edwin subsequently lived in College Station, Plano and Las Vegas before returning to his residence in Clifton.  

Edwin was always a huge fan of railroads and he traveled around the world to see and travel on various railroads. In 1969 and the early 1970’s he was a small minority stakeholder in perhaps the most famous locomotive in the world, The Flying Scotsman. He toured incessantly with the famous engine throughout the United States, occasionally serving as engineer and fireman as it traveled all across the country. He and his wife Fran also traveled on numerous private rail car trips where he would spend countless hours on the observation platform. He became well known as a veritable encyclopedia of railroad history, amazing other rail buffs with his detailed knowledge. In celebration of his 90th birthday and his love of and expertise in railroading, the Edwin Olsen Rail Museum in Clifton was dedicated in his honor. Without doubt trains and railroads were his passion.

Edwin was preceded in death by his wife, Frances Summer Olsen, his youngest son Richard Carl Olsen. Survivors include his eldest son, Steven, and his wife of 50 years, Peggy Hatter Olsen, two grandchildren, Stephany Olsen-LeGrand of Houston and Brent Olsen of Spring, and by 6 beautiful great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to B.A.R.K. Bosque Animal Rescue Kennels.

Condolences may be made at www.cliftonfh.com.

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