September 15, 2015
In Memoriam — Peter Olsen
Olsen was a horticulturist at heart, always stopping to pull a weed or unsheathe his secateurs to prune just one more branch. His love and passion for all things landscape led him to become a student in the first Horticulture Apprenticeship program at Humber College.
In 35-plus years of teaching, Olsen freely gave his time as a founding member of Landscape Ontario, member of the Garden Centre Group Co-op, chair of the Farm Safety Association and also as a member of the Rotary Club.
Never shying away from hard work, he believed if you are going to teach someone, the best way was to work alongside them. Until recently, Peter Olsen could be found at the garden centre loading a car, diagnosing an insect problem, or helping to solve the mystery of what to grow in a difficult spot. It was with great pride he taught daughters Tanya and Leah, everything he knew.
Everything in Olsen’s life came back to family: wife Doreen, daughter Tanya and her husband Dave, daughter Leah, her husband Rob and their two children. As a lasting piece of advice to his grandsons, Reed and Parkin, Olsen wrote, “Believe in yourself! Stand tall and be proud of who you are. Be kind to your neighbour and especially your brother. Be honest and trustworthy. When you go for a walk, take a piece of licorice in your pocket and think of your Morfar (Morfar means grandfather in Danish) and then have a bowl of ice cream with sprinkles on top before you go to bed.”
A celebration of life was held at the Arboretum Centre, University of Guelph on July 20. Donations can be made to the Peter Olsen Horticulture Apprenticeship Scholarship Fund, operated through the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation.