The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

Meet your neighbor Deb Olson, a new employee at "The Quill" newspaper in Stronghurst. Deb lives in Beaverdale, Iowa (RR West Burlington, Iowa).

She was born in Burlington, IA to Bill and Mary (Zumkeller) Kolz.

Bill was a baker for Zumkeller's Standard Bakery in Burlington, IA where Mary also worked as a clerk and bookkeeper. After Bill's death in 1961 Mary was remarried to Felix Scholer. Both Mary and Felix are now deceased.

She is an only child. Her grand-parents Joseph and Louise (Mesmer) Kolz and Paul and Gertrude (Ortman) Zumkeller all lived in the Burlington, IA area.

Deb attended Burlington High School graduating in 1973. She went on to attend Illinois State University, University of Iowa and Western Illinois University.

She received a B. A in History from the University of Iowa and will graduate in December from WIU with a M. A. in History.

In 1977, Deb married Terry Olson in Burlington.

Originally from Minnesota, Terry came to the Burlington area to work for Burlington Northern both at the West Burlington Shops and in Galesburg.

The couple have two sons, Josh who works in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in Computer Networking and Security and Nick who is currently serving in the USAF, stationed at Thule AFB in Greenland and a granddaughter Zoe Olson.

Sadly, Deb's beloved husband Terry passed away with cancer in 2009 shortly after his retirement from BNSF.

Over the years, Deb has followed her passion for history. She worked at the Des Moines County Historical Society in Burlington, IA from 1997 to 2014. She taught both genealogy and local history enrichment classes at SCC from 1989 through 2014.

She has been employed as a Museum Manager at the Louisa County Historical Society in Wapello, Iowa since 2011.

Deb recently began a part time job as a typist for "The Quill."

She continues to present programs on local history and genealogy upon request.

She is the secretary at the Carthage Lake Club, Carman, in Henderson County and recently has been doing volunteer work at the Hancock County Historical Society.

Deb is a member of the Des Moines County Genealogical Society, the Louisa County Historical Society, the Hancock County Historical Society, the National Council of Public History and the Southeast Iowa Civil War Roundtable.

Her hobbies include reading, crossword puzzles, crochet and traveling.

Deb also enjoys spending time with her children and her grand-daughter.

She is looking forward to the birth of her second grand-child in the spring of 2016.