Harold Evald Olson

September 8, 1944March 16, 2020

Harold E. Olson, 75, of Pekin, passed away March 16, 2020 at Unity Point Pekin Hospital.

Harold was born September 8, 1944 in Chicago, the son of Evald and Florence (Hermanson) Olson. He grew up in East Peoria and graduated from East Peoria High School in 1962.

He graduated from Bradley University in 1966 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. He was the Sports Editor of the Streator Daily Times Press from January 1967 until November 1997.

He is survived by his cousins Karlena Zimmerman of Coconut Creek, FL, Suzanne (Debbie Wilson) Hermanson of Dunlap, Lori Sexton (Bob) of Pekin, Renee Alexander of Pekin, Carey (Brianne) Alexander of Delavan, and seven cousins in Sweden. He was preceded in death by his parents and cousins Eva Alexander and Florann Castello.

While in Streator he was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. He was a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in the Media Category, he was a member of the Streator Jaycees and a JCI Senator. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Streator Youth Baseball and Streator Youth Football, as well as the Streator High School Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. A private visitation will be at Davison-Fulton Woolsey Chapel in Pekin. A private graveside service will follow at Springdale Cemetery, Peoria.

Memorial contributions may be made to Illinois River Valley Special Recreation Association. Online condolences may be submitted to


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Harold Evald Olson

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James Russell

March 19, 2020

I was fortunate enough to work with Harold for 11 years. He was one of a kind, and a kindly one.
His dedication to his craft, the readers, and the individuals and teams he covered, showed through in everything he did. I can't think of anyone else in my newspaper career who could match his wit, wisdom and wonder. He made every person he covered feel like they were the most important player or coach.
Legacy journalism may be a lost and dying institution. But Harold Olson made sure that in his time, the legacy of Streator sports was preserved for the ages.

Jack Zavada

March 19, 2020

It was my privilege to work with Harold every day, from 1973 to 1981, when I was a reporter at the Streator Times-Press. I was a city government/police reporter but also wore the unofficial hat of assistant sports editor.

Harold was a small man in stature but a giant to everyone who knew him. His courage in the face of disability and his terrific sense of humor were qualities that made everybody admire him. And, he had a funny habit of having a song that tied in with many of our conversations.

He was one of the hardest workers I ever saw. One morning I came in and Lyle Kennedy, the city editor, said to me, "You're filling in for Harold today." I asked, "Where is he?" Kennedy said, "He's in the hospital with a collapsed lung." Harold had come to work with it a couple days and no one knew, including him.

I was fresh out of college when I started at the paper and Harold had been there about six years. I learned a lot from him, but the best qualities were his tenacity and optimism. He covered sports knowing the student athletes would keep clippings of his stories about them for the rest of their lives. He built them up, even when they were struggling.

Harold was one of my heroes. a man who excelled at what he did because he loved the people whose lives he touched. He was truly one of a kind.

Joel Edwards

March 18, 2020

Harold “Scoop” Olson was the sports writer at the Times Press as I went through my HS swimming career (1972-76) then on to Eastern Illinois University. He never missed a swim meet nor any other sporting event at SHS. He was just a wonderful man with such a great smile and his presence at any event meant to us youngsters that we were weren’t forgotten.

My father, Bur Edwards, who became General Manager at the Times lives near me in Seattle, WA. I told him Harold had passed and he went on and on about some Scoop stories I had not yet heard of.

Bless you, Harold!