Cover photo for Darlene Olmsted's Obituary
Darlene Olmsted Profile Photo
1940 Darlene 2021

Darlene Olmsted

October 24, 1940 — January 18, 2021

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A hard-working, fun-loving and generous woman, Darlene Olmsted never forgot Elvis Presley or her farm roots north of Burt, North Dakota, where she was born in the family home on Oct. 24, 1940. Although she settled in Bismarck in the early 1960s, Darlene returned to the farm every chance she got, accompanied by her sons Mark, Monte and Kent. She always pitched in at her parents’ farm, baling hay, butchering chickens and working the fields, instilling in her boys the values of hard work and cherishing the simple farm life.

Darlene died at her Bismarck home on Jan. 18.

Family meant much to Darlene. She always made time for her sons, grandchildren, parents, brothers, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins. Every Memorial Day, she traveled to Mott to place flowers on the graves of her parents, Lawrence and Eleanora Roll, and aunts and uncles.

Into her Bismarck family home, Darlene brought many of the German traditions she learned as a child. Often, the smells of kuchen, apple pie or caramel rolls wafted through the house. On other days, Darlene would prepare schupfnudeln, kas knoephla, ram noodla along with borscht and knoephla soups.

Elvis Presley held a special place in her heart ever since she was teenager listening to his songs “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel” or watching him in his first movie “Love Me Tender” at the Playhouse Theater in Mott. Her home included a room devoted to Elvis memorabilia, and she made a pilgrimage to Elvis’s Graceland mansion in Memphis.

Darlene had many hobbies. She enjoyed watching old movies and the Lifetime network as well as researching genealogy. She loved to dance polkas, waltzes, schottisches and rock ‘n’ roll at dance halls and nightclubs. Darlene was a lifelong bowler, who in her prime years in the 1970s maintained a 165 average.

The extroverted Darlene hosted gatherings at her home, serving food and playing Bonco, Scrabble or card games. She was pivotal in organizing the Mott breakfasts in Bismarck.

Among her proudest accomplishments were her three sons, Mark, Monte and Kent; and her three grandchildren, Dylan, Vincent and Sarah, who referred to her as “Grandma Dar.”

Darlene Regina Roll was born on a farm north of Burt, North Dakota, to Lawrence “Canner” Roll and Eleanora Koffler Roll. She attended Mott Lincoln High School – home of the Cardinals – where she graduated in 1958. She later attended Dickinson State College and Bismarck Junior College. She married Ronald Olmsted in 1961 in Mott. After moving to Bismarck, she started a family and worked at St. Alexius Hospital in the insurance department, remaining there for more than 40 years until her retirement in 2006. While employed at the hospital, she gained many lifelong friends. And, for several years, she worked part-time at her “fun job” as dining room hostess at the Seven Seas Inn in Mandan.

Survivors include her sons Mark (Christine) of Dalton, Minnesota; Monte of Minneapolis; and Kent of Bismarck. Other survivors include her grandchildren Dylan, Vincent and Sarah; brothers Allen Gene Roll and George Roll along with sister Valeria (Fred) Roach; special friend Mel Schnabel; her “fourth son” Tim Polzin; special cousins Ronnie and Sheila Koffler and numerous friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Vernon Roll; nephew Kelly Roll; and sister-in-law Ione Roll.

There will be a private family funeral service on Saturday, Jan. 23rd, at 10AM. A livestream of the service will be available for viewing on the link provided below. 

A celebration of Darlene’s life will take place at a later date with interment at Sunny Slope Cemetery in Mott.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation at 500 N. Eighth St., Bismarck, ND 58501-4445.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Darlene Olmsted, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Mass

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Starts at 10:00am (Central time)

Church of Corpus Christi

1919 N 2nd St, Bismarck, ND 58501

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