Jon H. Olson of West Grove

Jon H. Olson, of West Grove, died Oct. 26, in his cottage at Jenner’s Pond in West Grove, attended by his friends, family, and wife Nancy Olson. The causes of his death were complications from COPD and biliary adeno carcinoma. His parents were Irenee and Andrew Olson.

Andrew spent most of his business career with Phillips Petroleum, and the family moved frequently, such that Jon attended 14 schools before college. He graduated from the Lawrenceville School, Princeton University as an undergraduate, and with a doctorate in engineering from Yale University. After a three-year career with the DuPont Company at the Experimental Station in Wilmington, he spent 40 years in the Chemical Engineering department at The University of Delaware, retiring in 2002. He then became an ardent volunteer at the university, advising undergraduates, alumni, and working on research until his health failed in June 2013.

He was the first president of the Faculty Senate in the 1970s, active in forming the faculty union, the associate and acting dean of engineering, director of the cooperative engineering program with Delaware State College, and director of the minority engineering program at the University of Delaware. He was honored for his advising attention to undergraduates with a named brick in a sidewalk at the University of Delaware, and for service to the University of Delaware with a recent prize from the Faculty Senate in his name.

He had three children with his first wife, Jean Clift Olson: Eric Jon Olson, Kirsten Ann Olson, and Greta Olson, all of whom earned doctorate degrees. He also is survived by nine grandchildren and two step grandchildren, all of whom are “above average.” He is most appreciative of the 34 years he spent with his second wife, Nancy Haldeman Olson, who taught him to be less up tight and to enjoy the company of many other people.


You are invited to gather with Jon's family and friends from noon to 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, at the great house at Loch Nairn Golf Club 514 McCue Road Avondale, PA 19311. A ceremony in celebration of his life will follow. After the formal celebration please stay and continue the party. Food and beverages will be served throughout. Guests are encouraged to type out their fond memories of Jon to read and/or leave with the family at the ceremony.

In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the Bayard Taylor Library, in Kennett Square, PA at PO Box 730, Kennett Square, PA 19348 or at where Jon served on the board for 10 years. Arrangements are being handled by the Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home Inc. (610-444-4116) of Kennett Square. To view Jon's online tribute and to share a memory with his family, please visit

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