Bob and Karen Olson

The Olson family has been residents of Sarpy County and the Papillion area for generations. We had the privilege of speaking with second generation Olsons, Bob and Karen, at their beautiful home. The Papillion High School alumni (Bob ‘57, Karen ‘56) raised three children who are Papillion-La Vista graduates, and who have themselves produced another generation who may one day become Papillion-La Vista alumni.

Karen’s father, Arthur Rahn ‘28, was the first in a long line of district graduates. The next generation included Bob and Karen, as well as Karen’s siblings Pauline ‘55 and Thomas ’68, and Bob’s brother Rodney ‘53. The Olsons’ children, Sandra ’82, Keith ‘84, Sonya ’91, and future son-in-law Michael Sierra ‘82 all graduated from PLHS as well. Two of Sonya's three  children, Trenton and Talia, attend Walnut Creek Elementary, continuing the tradition for their generation.

Karen’s attendance at the Old Bell School and Papillion High School and Bob’s enrollment through all twelve grades in Papillion set a strong precedent for their progeny, but the couple credit Papillion-La Vista Public Schools with much more than just an education. The Olson’s believe a strong school system provides a sense of community and offers children opportunities to explore. 

That sense of community is strong in the Olson’s. Bob, a retired State Farm Insurance Agent, served nearly 34 years with the Papillion Fire Department, beginning the paramedic program in 1981. He also served as President of the Papillion Chamber of Commerce and served on the Civil Service Commission and the Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation Board. Karen's service to the community includes 38 years on Midlands Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary, serving on the Board and as coordinator of the gift shop. She has been a key player in the Foundation’s annual Gala and alumni outreach. In recognition of their many contributions to our community and schools, Karen and Bob were inducted into the Papillion-La Vista Schools Hall of Fame as Distinguished Alumni.