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Funeral set for Mary Olson, investment banker and civic leader

by: COURTESY OF ODOT - MARY OLSONA funeral is scheduled next week for Mary Francis Olson, a Portland investment banker who served on the Port of Portland board and the Oregon Transportation Commission.

Olson, who lived in Oregon City, died of cancer Saturday. She was 65.

She resigned Dec. 2 from the transportation commission, which she had been a member of since March 2010. She also was a commissioner on the Port of Portland board from 2001 to 2011 and was its vice president.

Among those who praised her service was Gov. John Kitzhaber, who appointed her to the port board in 2001 and reappointed her to the transportation commission in 2012.

“Mary never stopped giving back to our state,” Kitzhaber said in a statement issued Monday.

“Over the years, she volunteered her expertise and experience to critical conversations about Oregon transportation, infrastructure, and trade. No matter how complex the issue, she was determined to find the best, fairest solutions. She was serious about improving our state, but always managed to bring her keen sense of humor to the table. She will be missed.”

Olson was born April 29, 1949, in Salem to William P. and Violet J. Kruger. She graduated from Serra Catholic High School in Salem, which closed in 1969.

Olson attended Oregon State University and the Northwest School of Banking. From 1971 to 1990, she worked at US Bank and became vice president for corporate banking. In 1990, she founded Norris, Olson and Associates, a Portland investment banking firm specializing in corporate finance. She was president of the firm.

She is the co-author with Hunt Norris of a paper, “Conventional Financing of Timber and Timberlands,” published by Oregon State University in 1995.

Olson is survived by a son, Brent; a stepdaughter, Natanee, and five sisters, Janet Klosterman, Susan Wilson, Elaine Young, Judy Jacobs and Teresa Brown. In addition to her parents, a brother, Bill, preceded her in death.

She is not the Mary Olson who served on the Lake Oswego City Council from 2009 to 2013.

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The funeral of Mary Francis Olson is scheduled at 11 a.m. Monday, May 19, at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 417 Washington St., Oregon City. Burial will be private. Holman-Hankins-Bowker & Waud of Oregon City is in charge of arrangements.

Contributions may be made in her memory to the Rita McGrath science scholarship at La Salle High School.