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Remembering Tonnes Olson of Missoula

Tonnes Olson with a drum
Tonnes Olson and friends
Posted at 2:07 PM, Jan 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-15 16:07:30-05

MISSOULA — A man recently died after being hit by a car while walking his dog on Brooks Street in Missoula.

After seeing several kind posts about the man, we decided to learn more about him. As it turns out, 44-year-old Tonnes Olson, who grew up in Polson and lived in Missoula, was beloved by many.

“He’s just such a big deal, you know It’s a huge loss in the music community here and anywhere else that he was. You know we’ve lost a great man and a friend first and foremost to us a childhood friend that’s the biggest deal he was such a big deal to us and we’re gonna miss him. That’s all I can say is we are gonna miss him," said Oola Buckman who grew up with Olson in Lake County.

She said they were able to connect through their shared experiences while growing up on the Flathead Indian Reservation.

Olson's death has also saddened Missoula's music scene. He worked as a stage manager at The Wilma before the COVID-19 pandemic and also worked with Logjam Presents through his company, Tatonka Backline.

In a statement to MTN, Isaac McElderry the technical and production director for Logjam Presents shared this

"Our Logjam family is deeply saddened by the news of Tonnes' passing.  He worked as a Stage Manager at The Wilma, pre-pandemic.  Through his work at Logjam and his backline company, Tatonka Backline, Tonnes has garnered many friendships throughout the local and regional music scenes.  His laugh could be heard a mile away.  His hilarious personality, quips and jokes infected everyone around him with a happiness and attitude that made even the hardest of days pleasurable and light-hearted.  I feel I can speak for everyone he's connected with in this industry when I say: Tonnes, your concert family loves you and will always remember the joy, laughs and smiles that followed you everywhere you went.  You will be greatly missed, cuz'n."

Buckman also remembers Olson’s fun personality.

“Honestly Tonnes was Tonnes. I always tell him 'you’re a one-man party you’re like Chris Farley' — he really was. Everywhere he went the energy was there everyone remembered him, you couldn’t forget him. You couldn’t, he just made such an impact on people...he was amazing.”

Tonnes Olson leaves behind his three children Cyrus, Tyson, and Mazie along with numerous close family and friends. Tonnes' funeral will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2024, at the Wilma Theater in Missoula.

People can donate to his funeral fund by calling Clearwater Credit Union at 406-523-3300 and donating to "In memory of Tonnes Olson." A GoFundMe account has also been set up.