Genel L Olsen

July 17, 2019

     Heaven has called an angel home. On the evening of Monday, July 15, 2019, Genel Lyne (Colburn) Olsen, 56, of Rockland, WI, passed away, with her family at her side, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse.

    Genel was born January 6, 1963, in Zion, IL, to Benard Colburn and Bonnie (Benson) Castillo. On June 21, 1997, Genel married Brian Olsen of Rockland, WI. Together they made their home in Rockland where they have lived until the time of her passing.

     She was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of three and survived cancer in her mid-30s. In 2003, Genel endured a pancreas transplant and in 2010, underwent a kidney transplant with a kidney provided by her brother, Chris.

     Although it seemed like a constant struggle, she managed to fend off cancer and the effects of diabetes with a very upbeat and positive attitude. She usually had a smile on her face to accompany her spunky wit.

     Genel was employed at Hobby Lobby in Onalaska for several years. Her never ending creative side allowed her to love and explore decorating, gardening, and crafting.

     Survivors include her husband, Brian Olsen of Rockland; daughter, Tonya Ellis of Bangor; granddaughter, Maranda Ellis of Bangor; brothers, Jody (Christine) Colburn of Pleasant Prairie, WI, Christopher (Enid) Colburn of Elk City, OK, and Brandon (Madeline) Colburn of Hollywood FL.; her father, Benard Colburn of Waukegan, IL; mother, Bonnie (Manny) Castillo of Burlington, WI; Brian’s loving family; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

     Genel was preceded in death by her grandparents, Archie and Frances Benson and James and Vera Box.

     Memorial services will be held at 12 noon, Saturday, July 20, 2019, at Fish Creek Ridge Lutheran Church, rural Rockland. Pastor David Sorenson will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m., until the time of service, Saturday, at the church. Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, WI, is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be offered to the family at  

     Genel’s family would like to express their appreciation to the doctors, nurses, and other staff at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse and the UW- Madison Hospital and clinics; with a special thank you to the transplant center.

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