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Billings man thankful for family on his 100th birthday

Ray Olson 2.PNG
Posted at 12:49 AM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-30 14:42:04-05

BILLINGS - Ray Olson celebrates his 100th birthday on Monday.

He is a World War II veteran and a retired businessman.

Faith and family are the most important to him in his century of life.


Ray and Mary Olson were married for 67 years from 1951 until she died in 2019.

Ray met Mary when a friend invited him to Billings for a football game.

"I didn't know her from Adam, but I got to get her to go with me," he said. "And when we got to that leave, we went up on the hill there, and that was in 1946. Later on, a wife and mother of 11 children.

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Courtesy: Olson Family

One those children is Don, who lives in southern California and was at the interview with his dad at Westpark Village Senior Living.

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KTVQ photo

Ray also has 15 grandchildren, and 11 great grandchildren with one on the way.

He was born on January 17, 1922 in Franklin, Montana, north of Ryegate and comes from a family of 11 children.

"Being part of having a wonderful family is life," Ray said.

He played halfback for the Geyser High School Wranglers football team and graduated in 1940.

He served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946, aboard the U.S.S. Langley, the Navy's first aircraft carrier.

He talks the most about family and church.

His grandson Daron Olson helped us ask the questions.

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KTVQ photo

"Your faith is really important to you?" Daron asked.

"Yes, and I needed the Lord's help and he took me through life," Ray said. "And I've been blessed with the love of all the great children I have had. And I just want to say thank you Jesus."

Last year on his 99th birthday, Ray received the 99% discount for his dinner at the Montana Club.

This year, a day before his birthday, he plans to get the free meal with a 100% discount for turning 100.