<< Go Back To Obituaries

Clarice Faye Whitaker-Olson

May 19, 1943 - Feb. 13, 2021

Date of Service: Feb. 27, 2021

Watch the Webcast

PORTLAND, OREGON - Clarice Faye Whitaker-Olson, a resident of West Moreland in southeast Portland, Oregon died in Portland on Saturday, February 13, 2021, after a short illness.

She was born on May 19, 1943 in Brigham City, Box Elder County, Utah to Mirl William and Ada Belle Bruesch Whitaker, the third of seven children. She grew up on a farm bordering on the Snake River east of Rupert, Idaho, and spent many happy days at her grandparents’ Bruesch ranch west of Almo, Idaho.

She married Arthur Russell Olson on July 3, 1984 at the old Sellwood Church, in Portland, Oregon. Art is the love of her life; they shared travel adventures at home and abroad, and annual campouts with family at the Metolius River Allen Springs Campground near Sisters, Oregon. She loved spending time with her grandchildren. She also loved their dogs—TomTe, Sally, and Kekoa—an important part of their family.

Claire attended elementary and junior high schools in Rupert, Idaho, and graduated from Minico High School in Rupert, Idaho in May 1961. She is a graduate of Utah State University, class of 1965 with a major in Spanish and French, and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. She taught foreign languages in Portland/Lake Oswego and Issaquah, Washington junior high and high schools for thirty-six years. She retired from teaching in 2002.

In addition to teaching, Claire served many in the community by leading quilting workshops that provided hundreds of quilts to needy children. As a wife and mother, she used her many talents in providing a home of refuge, comfort and love. She was an outstanding seamstress, and knitted beautiful sweaters. Additionally, she enjoyed traveling (Morocco, Europe, Sweden, South America), reading, and in her later years, she spent time doing family history.

Claire loved people. An ongoing tradition was Monday afternoon lunches with a group of neighborhood friends. One pastime she loved throughout her life was that of gathering up with her sisters, and brothers, to beach comb and enjoy the coast of Oregon—and places beyond—together.

She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and held leadership positions in the Relief Society of the Moreland Ward in Portland, Oregon.

She is survived by her husband, Arthur Olson; a son, Erik Olson, his wife Beth, and their four children: Sofija, Anna, Emma, and Leif; Pelle and Gunilla Sandberg, Orebro, Sweden, and their children: Ulrica, Jahon, and Magnus; a brother, Morris D. Whitaker, Brigham City, Utah; three sisters: Mrs. Max (Deanna) Cole, Almo, Idaho; Mrs. Roger (Joyce) Stroud, Herriman, Utah; and Mrs. Ronald (Marina) Whitaker, Las Vegas, Nevada; and thirty-seven nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Mirl and Ada Whitaker; two brothers, Ronald and Barry Whitaker; one sister, Lola Olson; and two nephews, Steven Whitaker and Clint Cole.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, February 27, 2021 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel in Almo, Idaho, with Bishop Douglas Ward officiating.

She will be buried in a family plot in the Sunny Cedar Rest Cemetery in Almo, Idaho.

A live webcast of the Funeral Service will be available at the following link: https://youtu.be/A5YutLdWPnA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Humanitarian fund. https://www.ldsphilanthropies.org/humanitarian-services.

For those attending the viewing and funeral service, face masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Condolences for Clarice Faye Whitaker-Olson

Comments may be screened and removed by the staff as deemed appropriate.

From Joann Goodsell:
Claire is amazing – she truly exemplifies Christ-like love and charity. She was one of my counselors when I was Relief Society President. There were many times when Claire heard of someone in need and acted quickly to help them before the ward leadership knew the need existed. When the Bishop found out about the need, told me about it, and I would bring it up in our Presidency meeting, Claire responded that she had already been to the person’s house, met the immediate need, and continued to check in with the person and continue to offer service. I will always say that I will never know of all of the service Claire gave while we served together. The lessons she taught – in front of a class and through her every day actions – will stay with each of us forever. Claire also knew how to have fun and enjoy being around others and enjoy a great dessert. Her love for Art and her family and growing up in Idaho brought her true joy. She will be missed but her legacy will last forever.
From Celeste Marie Yeates:
Claire’s life is an inspiration to me, but I never told her. Claire told a story about when she was not actively attending church. Her home teacher visited her and invited her to come to church often. She mentioned that it was his perseverance, at least in part, that helped her decide to return to activity in the church. As I minister to members who are not active in the church, I sometimes worry that what I’m doing is not enough. But then my thoughts always turn to Claire’s story and I remember that she gave credit to her faithful home teacher for persistently inviting her back. And I think “Claire’s right. Hope is not lost. I can be their friend until they’re ready to return to activity in the church.” Claire’s story of her return to activity in the church and her spectacular example of ministering continually gives me hope as I minister to others.
From Rebecca Jensen:
Claire was a true friend to me. She tenderly cared for me during times of need and always kept in touch by text just about every week. She always asked "What more can I do for you Do you need anything from the store". After one serious surgery she brought chocolate milkshakes to me every day! After another surgery Claire came to my home every day to tend to my wound with a gentle and caring touch. Claire always showed love and kindness. She helped my daughter when the need arose and never complained, ever, she just did what she always did, offering love and care. Always smiling, always willing to assist others, Claire showed in word and deed true Christ-like love. I will miss my friend but will always remember her examples of community service, care for others, and her testimony. Thanks, Art, for sharing your precious Claire with us! What a joy she has been to our ward, and especially to me. My prayers to Claire's family.
From Will Cole:
Aunt Claire. She helped me all my life. Once, when I was about 15, I sent her some money and she bought and delivered to me an Eddie Bauer KaraKoram down sleeping bag. Then she and Art took care of me and an Army buddy on a weekend pass from Fort Lewis. Still later, she and Art chaperoned/hosted Julie and me before and after our wedding, generously providing a reception in their home, and then welcoming our spontaneous visits. Generous, doting, full of life, Aunt Claire voice, Britcoms, my mom but not, because she was my mom's sister. Much love.
From John and Janet Francis:
We loved her. We just loved her! How we will miss the wonderful person who is Claire. We think of her and smile as we remember her many gifts -- her example of service to others, her dedication, her love of fun, and her keen mind that seemed far ahead of the rest of us -- to name just a few. Claire inspired us to rise to be better, to learn, and to grow. We loved her honesty and forthright manner that helped motivate us and to be more confident in ourselves. There will be a void in our sisterhood in the Moreland Ward without her.

Claire surely dwells in a beautiful, scenic place now that probably looks a lot like the Idaho landscape she so loved. We were blessed to have known her.
From Michele Kohler:
Claire was amazing! She taught me so many things, but it is the little tricks in sewing that I am remember - Using those large black plastic binder clips to hold the fabric to the frame when quilting. She was a genius! She was also very encouraging to my sons as they struggled to learn Spanish.
From Linda Top:
She adored Art and his amazing sense of humor. He was her “person” and the perfect fit for her.
A Sunday Relief Society lesson never went by without Claire talking about her sisters and how they grew up on the farm. She talked about all the hard work. And how the cows needed to be milked on Christmas and any other holiday. She loved working hard, I would say she thrived on working hard.
She loved taking care of her Grandchildren. She would bring Leif to presidency meetings and have him play on the floor by her legs as she planned.
She loved camping with Art and would do it full time if she could. She drove a stick shift jeep down Portland’s city streets. You were in for a treat riding along with her. Her driving was as rugged as her. She would sometimes be rough on the clutch and sharp with her turns! Ha ha ha but we always made it to our destination safely.

From Celeste Smith:
Even though I only moved to Portland 18 months ago, my life has been so blessed to know Claire. She wasn't afraid to do new things. One day, there was a sister in our ward who got a new job and had very sore muscles and wasn't feeling too well. Claire heard of this and whipped up a heating pad in an hour. I was stunned. She was there for immediate help and fulfilled every duty with heart. I loved her confidence and joie de vivre. I loved that we both spoke Spanish and French. I am so grateful for the time I had to get to know her and spend time with her.
From Linda Top:
She adored Art and his amazing sense of humor. He was her “person” and the perfect fit for her.
A Sunday Relief Society lesson never went by without Claire talking about her sisters and how they grew up on the farm. She talked about all the hard work. And how the cows needed to be milked on Christmas and any other holiday. She loved working hard, I would say she thrived on working hard.
She loved taking care of her Grandchildren. She would bring Leif to presidency meetings and have him play on the floor by her legs as she planned.
She loved camping with Art and would do it full time if she could. She drove a stick shift jeep down Portland’s city streets. You were in for a treat riding along with her. Her driving was as rugged as her. She would sometimes be rough on the clutch and sharp with her turns! Ha ha ha but we always made it to our destination safely.
Everyone loves Claire’s deep laugh and the twinkle in her eyes.
From MaryAnne Heap:
Beautiful obituary and a beautiful person inside and out. We will sure miss Claire! She was my second Mom and Grandma while we lived in Portland for 4 years. I got to tag along to some of those lunch dates to Taco Bell with her friends and a couple of her sister getaways on the Oregon Coast. We had many shopping trips to Joann’s and Albertsons. We took walks around her neighborhood and spent time at the park playing and feeding the ducks. She visited me in the hospital almost everyday while I was on bed rest with the twins where she kept me company, brought me treats and played farkle and other card games with me to pass the time. She was such a kind, giving person. And I will miss her infectious laugh and her thoughtful soul. Love and prayers to Art and family, and her brother and sisters.

Condolence Form

Leave a Condolence or Memory:
Your Name:
Email (optional):
A real person knows the answer: 8 plus 10 =