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Lee A. Olsen

Lee A. Olsen

Once in a great while you encounter a person — a 'kindred spirit' — whose love and zest for life makes a profound impact upon your life. Lee Olsen was such a person.

Every aspect of life, she embraced with consummate enthusiasm. It was not just her genuine concern and extraordinary generosity which endeared her to so many, but her joie de vivre — that infectious quality she had which enhanced the passion she added to everything she did.

Originally from Parma Heights, Ohio, Lee was a graduate of UCLA and the Cleveland Institute of Art. Her personal concern with public art led to the creation of the Palm Beach Architectural Board, on which she served for sixteen years. Lee also devoted herself to the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra and the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts.

Lee's introduction to croquet came at the Beach Club in 1983. As was typical with Lee, her interest in the game led her to become a member of the Board of Directors of the Croquet Foundation of America in 1985. Lee also served on the USCA Management Committee as its Southern Regional Vice President for three years.

Lee has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Palm Beach Croquet Club for many years and, with her dear friend Libby Newell, has chaired and been responsible for the great success of the annual Palm Beach International Croquet Ball.

When not playing croquet or working for a charitable cause, Lee could be found mountaineering in Western Canada or water skiing on the intracoastal. Her interests were many and she enjoyed them with a youthful spirit and vitality.

It is impossible and would be inadequate to attempt to communicate the extent of Lee's contributions to croquet. Her true gift to us was her warm and mischievous "can do" attitude toward life.

On the USCA's first National Team trip to England in 1985, Lee and Libby came along offering their much needed support as managers. One evening, Lee treated the members of the team to a visit to the Sportsman's Club in London. Much to our surprise, we discovered her appreciation for rock music and particularly songs by Bob Dylan. I thought it fitting to include a verse from a Bob Dylan song which is suited to Lee …

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of change shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
and may you stay
Forever young.

She always did.

For those of us who had the tremendous pleasure of knowing Lee, we will never forget her.

We are honored to have Janet Olsen, Lee's daughter, here tonight to help us induct her mother into the U. S. Croquet Hall of Fame.

Lee A. Olsen was inducted into the United States Croquet Hall of Fame in 1992.




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