Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — NEW YORK, N.Y. — Eldon Olson died peacefully on Friday, March 15, 2013, in New York City. He was born 77 years ago to Andrew Louis Olson and Margaret Theresa Hall in Kingsley. His father was a county 4-H agent and brought up his children to be industrious and disciplined.
Eldon attended school in Kingsley, graduating as valedictorian of his high school class in 1954. He won a scholarship to the University of Michigan and entered as an honors student. He completed his undergraduate studies in the School of Business Administration in three-and-a-half years, graduating first in his class. He began working on an MBA degree in the interim between his graduation and the beginning of law school. In law school he distinguished himself by winning the Campbell Competition, a moot court competition. He was also a member of the Law Review and the Barristers Society. In 1961 he graduated with a JD and an MBA, completing three degrees in seven years. He achieved all this while working to support himself. During this time he also met and married Mary Maxwell.
In the fall of 1961 Eldon and Mary moved to New York City. He began his legal career as a clerk for Judge Leonard P. Moore of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. After his clerkship he joined the firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore as an associate. In 1970 he left Cravath to become the first General Counsel of PriceWaterhouse. He was admitted to the partnership of PriceWaterhouse in 1973. By the time he retired in 1996 he had built the Office of the General Counsel from a one man operation to a substantial presence in New York and San Francisco. As General Counsel his responsibilities included managing all the firm’s litigation and its liability insurance program, including the firm’s relationships with Lloyds of London and the liability entities servicing the country’s major accounting firms.
He was a member of the New York State and City Bar Associations, the Michigan Bar Association and a member of the U.S. Supreme Court bar. He was also a member of the American Law Institute. Over the years he was a frequent panelist on Practicing Law Institute events.
Eldon was a serious genealogist, and in his retirement completed a carefully documented three-volume genealogical history of his family.
Eldon is survived by his wife of 51 years, Mary Maxwell Olson; his children, Eric, Ann and Evan; eight grandchildren; and a brother, Jerry.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Linda.
Eldon should be remembered for his honesty, courage and discipline. These are virtues that he held to tenaciously in his personal and professional life. He was also a man who cared deeply for his family and his friends. He had a strong faith in Christ and faced death with the assurance of his promises.
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 28, at 4 p.m., at Calvary Baptist Church, 123 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. There will be also be a visitation time at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on Wednesday, March 27, from 6 to 9 p.m.
Donations can be made to the Olson Trust at Calvary Baptist Church.