Dr. Merlin J. Olson, age 97, of Monroe, died peacefully on Monday, January 11, 2021 at Monroe Clinic Hospice Home with family at his side. Merlin was born on July 12, 1923 in South Wayne, WI son of Melvin and Viola (Johnson) Olson. He attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN and the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he was awarded his medical degree in 1947. He met his wife Tam (Blanche) Taplin during his internship at San Francisco’s Southern Pacific Hospital where Tam was a nurse. He married Tam in February of 1949 in Chattanooga, TN where he was in residency training. Merlin honorably served with the United States Air Force from 1950-1952 in San Angelo, TX. In 1953 the couple moved to Monroe where Merlin joined the medical staff as an Obstetrician/Gynecologist at Monroe Clinic. During his 37-year career, he delivered over 3000 babies, retiring in 1990. Merlin was a member of the Green County and Wisconsin State Medical Societies, American Medical Association, as well as a Life Fellow of the American College of OBGYN. Merlin was a longtime member of St. John’s United Church of Christ, serving as a past president of the congregation, a member of the Monroe Country Club for more than 55 years, and an active member of the Monroe Junior Chamber of Commerce. Merlin’s hobbies included golfing, curling, gardening, dancing and music. Throughout his lifetime, he enjoyed traveling with Tam to Europe, Africa, China, and Japan, and spending winters in Arizona.
Merlin is survived by two sons, Chris (Virginia) of Medina, Ohio, and Craig (Kathy) of Bettendorf, Iowa; a daughter, Julie (Robert) Napel of Marquette, Michigan; eight grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 65 years, his parents and one brother.
Memorial services will be held at a later date at St. John’s United Church of Christ with Reverend Todd Hackman officiating. The family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the staff of Saint Clare Friedensheim and Monroe Clinic Hospice Home for their incredibly compassionate care provided to Merlin. Memorials in Merlin’s name are suggested to St. John’s Church, Behring Senior Center Endowment Fund, The Monroe Arts Center, St. Clare Friedenshiem or the charity of one’s choice. Personal condolences may be sent in care of Craig Olson, 5046 Wyndham Court, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722. The Newcomer Funeral Home is assisting the family.