Perham man remembered after fatal bicycle accident

Mark Olson suffered a severe head injury on Aug. 22 after hitting a pothole during a group ride.

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Mark Olson, 72, passed away on Aug. 30, after suffering server brain damage from a bicycle accident on Aug. 22. (Submitted photo)

A Perham man who died after a tragic bicycle accident is being remembered as a man of happiness, faith and service to others.

Mark Olson, 72, was always one to look out for the needs of others and enjoyed living a quiet life, his wife, Cindy Olson said. “Just a really good man, just a really good friend, good dad, and a good husband,” she said. “Just a lot of fun -- I’ve just had a lot of fun with him for 46 years.”

Mark Olson was riding with Lakes Area Bike Club on Aug. 22 when he fell. Laura Nyhus, a bike club member who was riding with Olson on the day of the accident, said there were about eight cyclists riding in a group.

Nyhus said the group was probably going about 22 miles per hour about half a mile off of Highway 10 on Highway 60 when Olson rode through the pothole that caused him to lose control of his bike and fall. She said the pothole was a long narrow oval about 3 to 4 inches deep but full of water so that it looked like it was filled in.

According to Nyhus, the ambulance was called right away.


Cindy Olson, said Mark was airlifted to the hospital in Fargo. However, an MRI showed massive brain damage.

Mark was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, “he lived and preached bike helmets, safety and all, but there was no way when that tire dropped -- it’s like a trench, not like the potholes around town,” Cindy said.

Cindy said the family all met to read Mark’s health directive and knew that he would not want to be left on life support at that point. They had planned to leave him on life support until the end of this week so family members could say goodbye while following the hospital’s COVID-19 guidelines.

“But he had different plans,” Cindy said. On Aug. 29, Mark took a turn for the worse and the family knew that it was time to say goodbye and let him go. She said, “he was surrounded by love and passed peacefully.”

Mark was a master woodturner, an avid biker, president of the church council at Calvary Lutheran Church, involved in church groups, and a generous soul. “He was a man of deep of deep faith -- very simple faith,” Cindy said. “It was just doing good to others. He was a joyful man, he was fun-loving -- he was a young 72-year-old. He was full of baloney, he would laugh and joke and give people a bad time.” He was also one to help anyone at the drop of a hat because he believed in living a life of service.

No, funeral services are planned at this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming birth of Mark and Cindy’s son’s second baby. “We want to get this baby born and welcomed with joy, not overshadowed with everything else right now,” Cindy said.

Mark Olson’s obituary can be found on Schoeneberger Funeral and Cremation Service website.

Friends, family, and the community will grieve and find different ways to celebrate his life, Cindy said. A service could possibly be held next summer depending on the pandemic, she said.


Until then, the best way to honor Mark’s memory is to, “be kind, take care of your neighbor, love your family, and do unto others, the golden rule,” Cindy said.

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