Cover photo for Terry Olschlager's Obituary
Terry Olschlager Profile Photo
1951 Terry 2023

Terry Olschlager

January 15, 1951 — May 9, 2023


Terry Wayne Olschlager, 72, Bismarck, ND, passed away on May 9, 2023, after a two-year battle with glioblastoma. Terry was born on January 15, 1951, in Harvey, ND, to Walter and Joyce (Albrecht) Olschlager. He attended St. Anna (a one-room schoolhouse) in Wells County, Fessenden Grade School, and Fessenden High School. He graduated from Minot State University in 1973 with a degree in Elementary Education and later acquired a master’s degree in school administration from the University of Mary. He accepted a teaching position in Lidgerwood, ND, and became principal there in 1974. Terry met Sandra Wittenberg in 1976, when she started teaching at the same school. They were married April 2, 1977, and lived in Lidgerwood until moving to the family farmstead near Fessenden in 1982. Terry was the principal, and eventually superintendent, of Fessenden-Bowdon Public School, in addition to operating the family farm. He was well-liked and respected in the community and strived to make a difference in the lives of others.

Terry and Sandra welcomed a son, Adam Michael, in 1981, and a daughter, Jenna Kate, in 1984. They made their home in the Fessenden area for 30 years. They retired in 2012 and decided to make a move to Mead, CO, to be near their daughter. Terry went back to work part time at Dillard’s for seven years. He was a seasoned shopper, enjoyed buying gifts for others, and was often able to find a few new clothes or shoes he just had to have. He once commented that he hoped heaven included a big closet! He loved attending sporting events (Go Broncos!) and never passed up the opportunity to go to a good concert. One of his favorite concerts was during a trip to NY, where Eric Clapton performed. Terry liked to have a good time and loved being around people. He could strike up a conversation with anyone and made friends easily. He had a quick-witted sense of humor and thoroughly enjoyed seeing the reactions to his comments. His granddaughter, Adeline Joyce, was such a bright light in his life. He loved being called “papa” and cherished their time together, which included lots of treats and a little bit of teasing.

Terry did not let his cancer diagnosis take over his life. He persevered through surgery and treatments and kept a positive attitude and sense of humor through it all. He and Sandra made the decision to relocate back to North Dakota in June 2022 and moved into the Edgewood Village in Bismarck. Terry was able to take a few trips after the move and was very happy for the chance to visit family and friends.

Terry is survived by his wife, Sandra, Bismarck, ND; son, Adam, Billings, MT; granddaughter, Adeline Williams, Mead, CO; son-in-law, Mike Williams, Mead, CO; brother, Bryan (Lisa) Olschlager, Fargo, ND; and many special aunts, an uncle, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Terry was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Joyce Olschlager; and his daughter, Jenna Olschlager Williams.

A Celebration of Life will be held 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 17 at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Pkwy, Bismarck.

The celebration will continue 10:30 a.m. Friday, May 19 at Faith Community Lutheran Church, 9775 Ute Hwy, Longmont, CO.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Terry Olschlager, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Parkway Funeral and Cremation Service

2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, ND 58503


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Celebration of Life

Friday, May 19, 2023

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Faith Community Lutheran

9775 Ute Hwy, Longmont, CO 80504

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