Jerry Olson

BOURBONNAIS — Jerald “Jerry” J. Olson, 70, of Bourbonnais, passed away Monday (July 20, 2020) at his home, surrounded by his family, friends and beloved dogs.

Jerry was born Feb. 3, 1950, in Kankakee, the son of Ivan and Virginia (Grierson) Olson. Jerry married Judy Gravelle on Dec. 30, 1984, in Bourbonnais.

He served as a police officer with the Bourbonnais Police Department, retiring as a lieutenant after 32 years of service.

Jerry was a graduate of Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, where he played football, wrestled and tried his hand at several other sports.

He attended Eastern Illinois University where he played football and intramural water polo. He returned home to Kankakee Community College and earned an associate’s degree in 1972.

Surviving are his wife, Judy Olson, of Bourbonnais; his children, Hannah (Matt) Olson Pohl, of Platte City, Mo., Sarah (Tom) Kent, of Clifton, Brian (Michelle) Parks, of Sacramento, Calif., and Erick (Kelly) Olson, of Rochelle; eight grandchildren, Steven Parks, Alexandria Parks, Matthew Kent, Ian Kent, Jack Olson, Ivan Olson, Grace Olson and Ellie Olson; two sisters, Eda (Tom Cavender) Smith, of South Carolina, and Roberta Olson, of Bourbonnais; along with several nieces and nephews.

Jerry had a love for sports, especially football. For more than 10 years, he coached football for the Bourbonnais Bears. Coaching was a passion of his as he coached his sons in football and daughters in softball. On any given Sunday, you could find him watching the Bears at the Tiny Tap with friends. He was an avid fisherman and enjoyed fishing in Orr, Minn., on Pelican Lake. Jerry had a love for motorcycles. He loved riding with friends and taking trips. Jerry loved his friends like family. Most of all, he loved family vacations and enjoyed spending time with his kids and grandkids.

Preceding him in death were his parents; and one son, Steven Parks. As a believer in Christ, Jerry is reunited with them in Heaven.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 23, at Clancy-Gernon Funeral Home in Bourbonnais. An additional time for visitation will be from 10 a.m. Friday, July 24, until the 11 a.m. funeral service at American Lutheran Church in Bourbonnais.

Per CDC guidelines, masks and social distancing are recommended.

Cremation rites will be accorded following the services. A private inurnment will be at a later date in All Saints Cemetery in Bourbonnais.

Memorials may be made to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, in honor of his late son, Steven Parks.

Please sign his online guestbook at

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