Locally, provincially, and nationally, Sherman Olsons work and volunteerism made a difference to many people.
The Maple Ridge optometrist passed away on June 9.
Olson was born in Saskatchewan in 1928 and moved to Vancouver at the age of 14, graduating from high school and then attending UBC to complete a degree in commerce. He continued his education in Illinois and graduated in 1951 as an optometrist.
In addition to being involved in his professional association, Olson volunteered in many areas both locally and outside Maple Ridge.
Hes the epitome of a gentleman, said Maple Ridge Mayor Ernie Daykin.
The mayor remember Olson coming into his previous business, and later when he started needing glasses, but also for his tireless work in the community, and his constant effort to make Maple Ridge a great community.
He pitched in wherever he was needed, Daykin said, including behind the scenes or leading the charge.
Olson practised optometry in Maple Ridge from 1971 to 1999 after practising for 20 years in Vancouver.
Olson served as vice-president and then president of B.C. Association of Optometrists.
Olson served as a volunteer with the Childrens Rehabilitation and Cerebral Palsy Association, the B.C. Neurological Society, and the Vancouver Neurological Centre. His older daughter Julie was born with cerebral palsy.
With a daughter interested in horses, he become involved with the horse community and founded the Horse Council of B.C. serving as its president form 1980 to 1990. He was also actively involved in the Canadian Equestrian Federation, helping with certified coaching program and fundraising.
When Canada celebrated its 125 years in 1992, Olson helped organize a four-month national relay called Ride for Canada which travelled from the Yukon through B.C. and to Newfoundland.
Olson received the Governor Generals award for his work on the national ride and the Volunteer of the Year award from Sport B.C.
In 1995, Olson became the founding president of Trails B.C., which helped preserve trails across the province.
Olson was involved in creating the Trans-Canada Trail which opened in 2000.
Olson was a director and then president of the Trans-Canada Trail Foundation, which oversaw the development of the trail that links the country through every province and territory.
Locally, Olson served on the hospital board from 1988 to 1994. He also belonged to chamber of commerce, the arts council, the Maple Ridge Community Foundation, and the economic advisory council as well as the Ridge Meadows Hall of Fame.
In 1981, Olson was named business person of the year by the chamber of commerce, and the in 2000, the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation gave him the Presidents Award.
A celebration of life will be held on July 16 at 2 p.m. at The ACT, 11944 Haney Pl., Maple Ridge.
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