Forest Edward Olson peacefully passed away on January 6, 2024, at the age of 97. He was born on January 28th, 1926, in Glendale, California, to his parents, Lawrence and Ada Olson. Forest was a devoted husband to Jeannie for 56 years, a cherished father to four sons: Philip, Curtis, Jeffrey, and Steven, a proud grandfather to twelve, and a great-grandfather to five.
Affectionately known as "Forrie" by his many friends and "Boppy" by his adoring grandchildren, Forest's life was filled with love and family.
Forest grew up in Glendale, where his father served as Mayor. He enlisted in the US Army Air Corps shortly before the end of World War II. After pursuing higher education at both Cal Berkeley and UCLA, he graduated from USC in 1951.
His entrepreneurial spirit led him to the world of real estate, where he embarked on a remarkable journey. In 1953, with a $500 loan, he founded the Forest E. Olson Real Estate company in the San Fernando Valley. By 1968, Coldwell Banker recognized the potential in Forest's company and sought to acquire it. At that time, the Olson company boasted 450 employees and 30 sales offices. This merger was a pivotal moment, bringing Coldwell Banker into the residential market, and by 1971, with 1,140 salespeople and 65 offices, they were listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Forest's leadership played a crucial role in expanding Coldwell Banker's nationwide presence.
In 1969, Forest realized a personal dream by relocating to Newport Beach. As an avid boater and competitive sailor, he found joy living on the water. He was a founding member of Big Canyon Country Club and the Pacific Club, a member of the Young Presidents Organization, and the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, where his sons embraced competitive sailing. Forest's passions included boating, skiing, camping, tennis, golf and traveling in his motorhome.
Forest was a man of faith and focused on his spiritual life. He enjoyed being part of a couples Bible Study group, sharing his faith with the same cherished friends for over 37 years.
Forest Olson's impact on the lives of those he touched was indelible. He was a mentor, a confidant, and a trusted friend, earning the respect and admiration of all who knew him. However, his most valued role was that of a devoted husband to his beloved Jeannie and a loving father to his four sons. Forest leaves behind a legacy of which we are all incredibly proud and profoundly grateful.