Ron Olsen, the host of a local Scandinavian Hour radio programme in Seattle, died while on vacation in Norway, according to reports in the Ballard News-Tribune. He died on April 29th as the result of a car accident in Flekkefjord. He was 69 years old.
Olsen was in Southern Norway with his brother John when the accident occurred. Olsen was hospitalised for injuries incurred in the accident, but died of a heart attack he suffered while leaving the hospital.
Olsen’s co-host of almost 55 years on the Scandinavian Hour programme, Doug Warne, confirmed that Olsen had a history of heart problems and suffered from diabetes. The two had worked together to entertain the Scandinavian community of Seattle on their programme which aired every Saturday morning on KKNW Radio 1150 AM.
Olsen was known in the community as an enthusiastic dancer who eagerly participated in all the area’s Scandinavian dances. “We met on the circuit, we met at a dance. We chased the same girls,” said Warne.
Since Olsen also owned six records of Scandinavian music, he seemed like a natural partner for Warne when he began the Scandinavian Hour program in 1959. Olsen visited Scandinavia often, picking up more music with every visit.
The radio program featured music, and advertising as well as announcements on important events in the Scandinavian community.
In an interview in 2004, Olsen talked about his work on the Christmas programmes for the radio show. “We play all the traditional Christmas tunes of the Scandinavian countries. It’s a good time to remember the old country and relatives,” Olsen said.
Olsen was a member of the Norwegian Male Chorus of Seattle, the Norwegian Commercial Club and the West Coast Norwegian Singers Association.