May 14, 2020

Roger Donn Olson was born in DeKalb, Ill., on Dec. 5, 1956, and passed from this earth to his eternal home on May 14, 2020. He was the first-born son of Donald and Marilyn (Fawcett) Olson. He is survived by his mother and five siblings: sisters, Sandra Sunday (Kevin), and Sharon Krenek (Mike), and three brothers, Richard Olson, Douglas Olson (Kim) and Christopher Olson. Also surviving him are his 10 nieces and nephews and eight great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father, Donald, in 2014.

Roger grew up in Batavia, Ill., where he and his family attended the First Baptist Church and he was very active in the church youth group. When he was 10 the family moved to St. Charles, Ill., where he attended school and graduated from St. Charles High School in 1975. He was an excellent student and became a fine drummer in the high school band, with marching band being his favorite. His first job was in a bicycle shop as a mechanic. Building and riding bikes was one of his greatest passions throughout his life. At 16, Roger purchased his first car, a Triumph GT6. It became his most prized possession and hobby for his entire lifetime. After high school, he attended Harper Junior College in Palatine, Ill. After earning his associate’s degree, he enrolled at the University of Idaho at Moscow, Idaho, where he earned his B.S. degree in architecture. It was there that he fell in love with the beautiful mountains and lakes of Idaho and decided to make Ketchum his home.

Roger opened his own architecture firm, RDO Architectural, in Ketchum in 1984. He spent 38 years doing what he loved most, designing beautiful spaces for people to enjoy in an area filled with gorgeous views of the mountains and lakes. He had a great passion for downhill skiing and spent many hours on the slopes of Baldy until just a short time ago. He grew up fishing with family every chance he could get and that love continued in Idaho. Precious downtime from work was spent at his small get-a-way at Magic Reservoir. He rode his various bikes for countless miles through the mountains and various trails. His day did not begin until he read the newspaper and solved the daily crossword puzzle and Jumble.

Those who knew Roger for any length of time remember his dog, Giddy, a black lab who could fetch specific shoes that he would request she retrieve for him. They were inseparable during her entire lifetime. He never got another dog after Giddy.

Roger had an unwavering passion for his boyhood, hometown sports teams. He was a huge fan of the Chicago Blackhawks and Bulls, but his favorite, just like his dad’s, was the Chicago Cubs. He spent many an evening watching those games with his many friends at his favorite watering hole, Grumpy’s.

Roger loved his big family and they loved him. He will be missed greatly at the family reunions. He was also a true friend and was always willing to help anyone in need. He will be missed by many for his friendship, his spirited and passionate conversations, and always insightful observations.

Anyone needing more information regarding RDO Architectural business may contact the family at