KATHERINE WEBB 'KATE' OLSON, 77 HAINES CITY - Katherine Webb 'Kate' Olson died Tuesday, April 11, 2017, at home. She was 77. Born in Washington D.C., she was raised in Melrose, Florida and moved to Haines City in 1960 after marrying John Olson. The couple met in a baitcasting class at the University of Florida, which was held at the old Florida pool. Kate was majoring in psychology and John in citrus management. When John brought her home to meet family and friends, one long-time Haines City resident said, 'She is the spiffiest little thing!' After graduating, John went to work in the family's citrus business. Although Kate's father was a noted economist and college professor, he was also a Florida cattleman, so Kate easily settled into a ranch house on the shores of Little Lake Hamilton. There they raised their family until 1984 when they moved to Winter Haven. Kate was actively involved in her children's lives. She and John took their children, children's friends and family pets on trips out West to see ruins, canyons, national parks and other natural wonders. Once the kids became old enough, she served as chaperone on many high school trips to New York City. She took up golf, bridge and bird watching, and had a voracious appetite for reading. And when that wasn't enough, she occasionally fledged stranded and injured birds that locals brought her. She kept these birds in the house, along with the family's cats, dogs, and rabbit. Once her three children had finished college and started lives of their own, she and John traveled in their motorhome throughout North America, and visited five other continents. Kate was always planning a party, right up to her final hours. Kate is survived by her husband of 58 years, John; daughter Margaret Sotrop of Hilliard, OH; sons John and Bill, both of Winter Haven; sisters Jane Redfearn of Daytona Beach and Margaret (Peggy) Powell of Anna Maria, FL. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Sam Sotrop of Baton Rouge, LA, Caitlin Olson of Winter Haven, Max Sotrop of Oxford, MS, Webb Olson, Luke Olson and Lindsey Olson, all of Winter Haven, niece Julia Redfearn. She is also survived by Christy Olson, Ed.D., wife of John, Arlese Olson O.D., wife of Bill, and Paul Sotrop, husband of Margaret. Funeral services will be held Monday, April 17 at 1 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 656 S Avenue L NW, Winter Haven, FL, 33881. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
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