Friends remembered: Paul H. Olson

Paul H. Olson

Paul H. Olson, 92, of Anoka, Minn., died June 9, 2015.  At age 38 on March 13, 1961, he saved a woman from drowning in the Mississippi River at Minneapolis.  A taxi driver, Olson had seen the fully clothed woman, 29, walk slowly along the river bank, and he became suspicious of her actions.  The woman then ran down the steep bank and plunged into the water, which contained ice floes.  Olson jumped from his taxi, removed his outer clothing, and entered the river after seeing the woman struggle and submerge at a point about 75 feet from the bank.  He swam to her, took hold of her, and returned her to the bank even though she resisted him halfway back.  Both were taken to the hospital for treatment of exposure.  Olson and his wife had five dependent children at the time, and the monetary grant that accompanied the award of his Carnegie Medal later that year “was used for a new baby and our home, and we are sure thankful,” he wrote.