Geneva Barrett Olsen, 96, passed away peacefully on November 3, 2018, due to conditions incident to age. Geneva was born April 21, 1922 in Mendon, Utah to Oscar J. and Elizabeth S. Barrett. She was one of seven children (2 boys and 5 girls). She learned early in life the value of hard work while helping her parents and siblings on the farm.
Geneva took piano and organ lessons and soon became an accomplished musician. She also played the French Horn at Utah State University. She played for several dance bands throughout the community. She could play by ear and could transpose music to different keys instantaneously. Geneva gave piano and organ lessons and was responsible for teaching numerous students. She continued her education by taking classes at B.Y.U. in music education. Geneva was the requested piano and organist for countless funeral and church meetings. Together with her daughter, Kathy Sullivan, many piano and organ renditions of Christmas and Religious music were enjoyed throughout the Utah County. Geneva was also known for her "gay nineties" and honkey-tonk piano music. Her husband and family often requested this music for family gatherings.
Geneva met her eternal companion, Ken Olsen, while employed in Ogden, Utah in supply management for World War II. They were married in the Logan Temple on January 13, 1944. Geneva said, "this was the happiest day of her life" They were later blessed with eight children (2 sons and 6 daughters): Cheryl (Gary) Ransom, Shauna Olsen, Kathy (Mark) Sullivan, DeeAnn (Wade) Hall, Lani (Earl) Koskie, Doug (Becky) Olsen, Dennis (Nikki) Olsen and Keri Olsen.
On April 4, 1989 Ken and Geneva were called on a one-year rehabilitation service mission at the Provo Deseret Industries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She said it was a thrill to be called on a mission and still have time to work on the family's mink farm.
In addition to being a homemaker, and partner in a mink farm, Geneva worked at the Orem Library as circulation desk manager where she greeted and helped the hundreds of people who visited and used the facilities. Geneva held many church callings including primary, relief society, choir, and music director. Her children were her top priority. She never missed any of her children's school meetings, programs or sporting events. Geneva accompanied and arranged music for her daughters who sang for church and woman's club groups throughout the community. She was fond of saying that her husband worked for her 24 hours a day. Ken worked at Geneva Steel during the day and came home at night to Geneva Olsen. Prior to Ken's passing, they celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.
Geneva's hobbies are music, reading, gardening, vacationing, genealogy and music. She especially enjoyed traveling to Nauvoo and Washington, D.C. and visiting the Civil War sites.
Geneva is survived by a brother, Stanley Barrett, and her eight children, 37 grandchildren, and 79 great grandchildren. Preceding her in death is her husband, Ken Olsen and six brothers and sisters.
Geneva's greatest legacy to her posterity is one of devotion, kindness, hard work, laughter and love.
There will be a family viewing at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 8th at the Hillcrest 4th ward church located at 440 East 800 South, Orem, Utah, followed by a funeral at 11:00 a.m. Internment in Springville Evergreen Cemetery.
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