Mark Olson has died after being trapped under a lawn mower in an area of a ditch with standing water.  According to the Sheriff’s Office, around 2:30 p.m. this afternoon first responders were dispatched to the home of Dr. & Mrs. R.J. Tippin, 5814 S. Kansas Ave., south of Newton.  “Upon arriving on scene, they located a man trapped under a mower in a ditch with two to three feet of water in it,” the release from the Sheriff’s Office stated.  “The man appeared to have been mowing around a culvert when the mower tipped and trapped him underneath. The man perished as a result of the accident. His exact cause of death is drowning and will be under investigation.” Newton Fire/EMS assisted deputies on scene. Harvey County Sheriff’s Office, Newton Kansas.  July 25, 2018.

Mowing Victim Identified.  The Harvey County Sheriff’s Office has identified Mark Olsen as the man that died in a mowing accident south of Newton on Wednesday (July 25).  Olsen, 68, of Elbing, died after being pinned under a riding lawnmower around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 5800 block of S. Kansas. Olsen was mowing grass for a homeowner in the area. Olsen was mowing around a culvert when he lost control of the lawnmower, falling into the culvert. Olsen was pinned in the culvert under the lawnmower. The culvert contained two-to-three feet of water. Olsen drowned in the water. He was found dead at the scene by first responders. The Harvey County Sheriff’s Office, Newton Fire/EMS, Newton Police Department and Kansas Highway Patrol responded to the incident. A sheriff’s office investigation ruled the death accidental.  The Newton Kansan, Newton Kansas.  July 26, 2018.  Page 1.

Mark Robert Olsen, 68, Elbing, entered into the glorious presence of God on July 25, 2018.  He was born on May 3, 1950, in Oakland, California, to his loving parents Robert (Bob) and Ruth Olsen. Mark grew up in California along with his sisters Nancy and Patty Olsen. 

Mark served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Thailand. Near the end of his military service Mark gave his life to Christ. He went on to attend Dallas Bible College where he met and married the love of his life, Rebecca Ann Jury. They were married on August 14, 1977 at Highland Baptist Church in Junction City, Kansas. In 1979, Mark graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Bible and Missions. Over the course of his life he worked as a carpenter, fabricator, avionics technician, steel worker, entrepreneur, and communications design engineer.   Whatever he was doing, be it for an employer, family, friend, or stranger, he put a lot of thought and heart into it. It was a joy for him to work with his hands. A true craftsman, he loved to design, create and build things. This included landscaping, stained glass, remodeling his home inside and out, and creating homemade wooden toys and furniture for his children and grandchildren.  He enjoyed old trucks, jazz, watching classic comedies like the Andy Griffith show, sports, and movies (even an occasional chick-flick). Some of his favorite activities were camping and trout fishing with his family. He was particularly fond of the Colorado Mountains and traveling through the Northwest. God blessed him with a beautiful singing voice that he used with various groups within the Church and Kansas Communities Navigator Ministries. His heart of worship was very apparent.

Mark loved people. He was a friend to all. His character was full of generosity, kindness, and humbleness. Serving and encouraging others was a priority to him. He genuinely cared about the details of other’s lives and prayed for them regularly. He met his own challenges in life (such as a stroke) with great fortitude. His strength came from his relationship with God. Because of his deep love for the Lord and thankfulness for his salvation, he believed strongly in the local Church. Over the past twenty-four years he has been an active member of Grace Community Church in Newton, Kansas where he served on various teams and councils and was a beloved Sunday School teacher and elder.  Mark leaves behind a trail of touched lives, a legacy of love.

He is survived by his wife, Becky, and his children.  He was the proud father of Jenny Rebecca and Nathanael Mark.  Recently he delighted in being the grandfather of twins Able and Ainsley born to Nathanael and daughter-in-law Brittney LeeAnn (Johnson).  He was preceded in death by his parents.

Visitation will be held Monday, July 30, 2018 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm in the Fireside Room of Grace Community Church in Newton. Memorial Service will be Tuesday, July 31, 2018 at 11:00 am, at Grace Community Church in Newton, Kansas.  Memorials are suggested to the Fellowship of Evangelical Churches.

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