Obituary of Murdoch Lauchlin Olsen
Olsen, Murdoch Lachlin On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, Murdoch Olsen, of Orangedale, NS, a man of great faith, left this world for the next at the age of 81. He passed peacefully surrounded by his family at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. He was born October 27, 1941 to the late Annie Catherine (MacKinnon) and John Alfred Olsen at home in Sunnyside, Richmond County, NS.
From an early age, he demonstrated what would be a lifelong dedication to caring and providing for his family as he went out cutting pulp by age 9. He began working full time as a teenager and by the time he was 17, he was chief engineer on a fishing trawler. He enjoyed telling stories of his fishing days, of 80 foot waves, harbour stops in Newfoundland, and needing to be smuggled off his fishing boat because the Russians were after him. He left the life at sea for a life on land, running a service station in Blues Mills where he met his future wife, Marguerite MacKinnon. From there he bought the store in Orangedale, where they moved establishing 53 years of marriage and raising three children. Orangedale Building Merchants was not only a place of business, but a centre for talking politics, telling jokes, and sharing stories – some of which may even have been true. It was not uncommon for folks to just come in and talk about anything and everything. And if you needed to know how to do something, he could tell you just how to do it.
While he may have seemed rough around the edges, he had a heart for the community and people in need. He was involved in establishing the Orangedale Railway Station as a museum and getting clean drinking water into the community. He was always thinking of ways to support others, whether local kids at risk, the homeless across Cape Breton, or people in far flung lands. He knew he was blessed with much and looked to give back, even to the very end.
He will be missed by his wife, Marguerite; his children, Robert, Beverley (Nick) Phillips and James; grandchildren, Anna and Anthony; his sister, Rena MacPhail, brother-in-law Pearlie Malcolm, and many nieces and nephews. Along with his parents, he is predeceased by his sisters Betty Malcolm, Marie (late Freddie) Langley, and Jean (late Vernon) Amos, and brothers Oscar (late Gloria LeBlanc) and Roy (late Kay), and brother-in-law Gordon MacPhail.
A special thanks goes out to his family doctor, Dr. Bennett, and all the doctors and nurses and staff who took such great care of him in Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital and in the CCU and the ICU at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Family flowers only. Memorial donations may be made to L'Arche Cape Breton, Inverness Consolidated Memorial Hospital, Cape Breton Regional Hospital, or Forbes United Church.
Funeral service will take place on Monday, June 26 at 2pm at Forbes United Church, River Denys, with Jim MacNaughton - DLM-R, the Rev. Nick Phillips, and the Rev. John Tapscott officiating. Burial will take place in the Orangedale Gillis Cove Cemetery and a reception will follow at the Orangedale Smith Community Centre.
Masks are required for the protection of vulnerable family members in attendance.