Greg Olsen, 78, of Bryson City, passed away on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at the VA Hospital in Asheville following an extended illness. He was born in Royal Oak, Michigan and is the son of the late Edward C. & Geraldine H. (Fuller) Olsen.
Greg served in the US Air Force from 1957-1966 and was stationed in the Philippines along with serving three tours in Vietnam.
He moved to Cocoa, FL where he built Tradewinds Mobile Home Park, gas and laundry. In 1975, Greg and his sons opened a motorcycle shop near the newly constructed Brevard County Motocross Park. The park was named so when workers encountered hundreds of Eastern Diamondback rattlesnakes during construction. In turn, Greg’s shop was named Diamondback Cycle Center selling Honda, BMW and Hodaka motorcycles. He had race teams over the years with several top riders winning state championships. He became well known in the racing circuit. The business continued until 1989 when Greg sold the mobile home park and cycle shop and made a permanent move to the mountains of western NC where in retirement he continued his love of riding motorcycles and four wheelers.
While living in Sylva, Greg met his wife, Carol, through a mutual friend. They worked together as a team in both real estate and appraisals. He and his wife, a native of Swain County, would move to Bryson City where they opened a Century 21 Real Estate office that they operated for 13 years before selling and retiring in 2006. In retirement they enjoyed traveling and continued to ride motorcycles and four wheelers.
Greg was preceded in death by his parents, Edward C. & Geraldine H. (Fuller) Olsen and his brother, Jon Allen Olsen. He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Carol (Cochran) Melanson; sons, Mark Olsen of Bryson City, Gene Olsen of Canaveral Groves, FL; one daughter, Karen LaFon of Merritt Island, FL; and his step son, Mark Melanson (Kesse), of Winchester, IL.
Private services will be held with family at a later date. Donations can be made to the American Cancer Society and the Parkinson’s Foundation.