On October 1, 2016, Irving J Olson passed away peacefully at age 102 in his sleep at his home in Oro Valley, Arizona. The son of Frank and Rose Olson, he was born in New Britain, Connecticut, on November 26, 1913. His first of many lifetime achievements was recognition by the governor as the heaviest newborn in Connecticut that year at 13 pounds, 6 ounces.\n\n \n\nIn 2011 Irving was predeceased by Ruth, his wife of 71 years and the love of his life. His son, Stephen (Laura) Olson of San Francisco, CA, and daughter, Carolyn (Michael) Stelman of Oro Valley, AZ, deeply miss him. He is also survived by grandchildren Francine (Frank Vallejo III) Olson of Redwood Shores, CA, Mark (Odette) Olson of Northbrook, IL, Emily Olson of Boston, MA, Benjamin (Madeline Noonan) Olson of San Francisco, CA, Jonathan (Michelle Lackie) Manheim of Washington, DC, and Allison (Robert) Caplin of Arlington, MA, and great-grandchildren Amber, Justin, Shane, and Caden Olson, Ryler Manheim, and Alexander Caplin. Irving was predeceased by his sister Pauline and brothers Sidney, Albert, and Philip.\n\n \n\nBy the time Irving was ready to enter kindergarten, his family moved to Akron, Ohio, where at the tender age of 6 he vowed to make a financial success of his life, travel the world, and pursue his interests. Although his spotty academic career at the University of Akron ended shortly after it began, his reputation was redeemed on his 100th birthday when he was presented with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree by that same university.\n\n \n\nDuring his decades in Akron, Irving built a one-man radio repair business into Olson Electronics, a coast-to-coast ninety-five store chain and mail order business.\n\n \n\nAfter retiring on his fiftieth birthday, Irving enjoyed being "unemployed since 1963." Irving and Ruth traveled the world extensively, logging 135 countries before his dislike for airports caused him to end his travels at age 98. \n\n \n\nA man of many interests, he built complicated steam engines and clocks from scratch with his metal lathe. He then switched to a wood lathe, and made beautiful bowls from blocks of exotic woods.\n\n \n\nBut it was his lifelong passion for photography that began in the early 1920s that earned him international awards, articles in prominent photography magazines, and numerous one-man shows. He was the first amateur photographer invited to have a one-man exhibit in Grand Central Station in New York City. \n\n \n\nAfter creating his first photographs at age 8, Irving was enthralled by the magic of "making a picture" and processing photographs in a darkroom. In retirement he spent more time in his darkroom. \n\n \n\nAt age 79, he embraced digital technology. At age 98, Irving continued to advance his computer imaging skills, becoming widely known for his development of "water drop photographs." His nearly 2,000 worldwide Facebook followers looked forward to his daily picture post. His photographs appear in galleries, corporate boardrooms, hospitals, museums, textbooks, as well as private collections worldwide. \n\n \n\nIrving lived independently at Splendido, a life plan community, where he enjoyed the friendship of his neighbors, although he could never understand why so many of them told him that he was "such an inspiration!" Irving J. Olson will live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew him.\n\n \n\nA member of Temple Emanuel since moving to Tucson, Irving was a supporter of many worthwhile causes in both Tucson and Akron. The Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona and the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra had special meaning to him. In lieu of flowers, donations to these organizations would be deeply appreciated. A private memorial service will be held in Oro Valley.