Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Marilou Olsen

December 12, 1947 - November 11, 2020
Paw Paw, MI



Saturday, June 19, 2021
12:00 PM EDT
Mint Cemetery
19990 Mint Rd
Vicksburg, MI 49097


Saturday, June 19, 2021
12:30 PM EDT
Covered Bridge Farm County Park
56705 Covered Bridge Rd
Three Rivers, MI 49093
(269) 467-5519


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

National Kidney Foundation
(800) 622-9010
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


All who knew Marilou Olsen would agree she truly understood the secret to a life well lived. She valued her loved ones above all else, and she never took a single moment with friends and family for granted. Nothing brought Mari greater joy than spending time with her family. She was a constant source of strength, even in the hardest of times. Deeply loved, Mari will be dearly missed.

During the first half of the 1940s, the eyes of our nation were focused overseas as WWII raged on. With the war’s end in 1945, there was dancing in the streets as countless young servicemen and women returned home. Meanwhile, M&M’s and Cheerios began their journey to becoming household names, Slinky’s and Silly Putty entertained children everywhere, and Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play in major league baseball. Amidst these exciting times there was cause for even greater celebration as Arthur and Una (Schingledecker) Smith were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Marilou on December 12, 1947, in Vicksburg, Michigan.

Growing up, Mari was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She was raised in the family home in Mendon, Michigan, alongside her siblings: Roy, Charlotte, Bonnie, Steve, Marcia, Nancy, and Pam. Mari fell in love with music and dancing at a young age. She would often go square dancing with her family in Leonidas, and she quickly became a fan of Rem Wall and The Green Valley Boys.

Later in her life, Mari met a gentleman who took her by surprise and swept her off her feet. His name was Terry Olsen. They met while watching a Tiger’s baseball game at his home with friends. It didn’t take the couple long to realize they enjoyed each other’s company and both desired to share as much time as they could together. They were married on November 18th, 2017. Mari and Terry loved to go dancing or karaoke singing at the Moose Lodge in Dorr.

Of all the things Mari loved in life, she treasured her family above all else. She devoted herself to her two children, raising them into hardworking and kind men. Mari taught her family to find joy in everyday living, and she loved all children and animals (except for goats).

Mari pursued several hobbies in her free time. She loved the thrill of visiting the casino, and over the years she enjoyed vacations to Oklahoma, Connecticut, Florida, and Texas. Mari’s faith was a concrete element in her life. As a Christian, she did her best to follow Christ’s example and judge no one. Mari considered her fellow church members to be just as close as family. She loved Tigers baseball, various television shows, arts and crafts, and both pop and country music. Though Mari moved around quite a bit throughout her life, she never roamed too far from Portage, Michigan. She liked settling into a new home and making new friends.

When reflecting on the life of Marilou Olsen, it is easy to see her unwavering strength and unconditional love for her family. She was known to be a peacemaker, and she always strove to achieve her dreams. Mari was a shining example of joy and kindness, and the love she gave to others was always offered without condition. She considered herself blessed to share her time and love with those around her, and she was there to lend a hand in ways both great and small. Though she will be deeply missed, Mari leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will proudly carry on in her footsteps.

Marilou Olsen died on November 11, 2020. Marilou was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Arthur “Roy” Smith. Surviving are her husband, Terry; children: Erik (Kerri) Olsen, Clint (Michelle) Olsen, Amanda (Eric) Musson, William Keene, Robert (Jeannia) Keene; grandchildren: Mason, Callie, Sara, Melissa, Rachel, Adam, Ashley, and Derek; great-grandchildren: Lily, Delmar, and Robert; siblings: Charlotte (Lynn) Dehollander, Bonnie (Harry) Miller, Pam (Willie) Wilson, Nancy (John) Crabtree, Marcia Heath, and Steve Smith; and several nieces and nephews.

Cremation has taken place. A graveside service will take place 12 PM Saturday, June 19, at Mint Cemetery in Vicksburg. A celebration will follow at Covered Bridge Farm, 56705 Covered Bridge Rd, Three Rivers. Visit Marilou’s personal webpage at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com where you may read her Life Story, archive a favorite memory or photo, and sign her online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to National Kidney Foundation. Arrangements by Betzler & Thompson Life Story Funeral Home, 60900 M-40 Hwy, Paw Paw (269) 657-3870.