Cover photo for Traves Olson's Obituary
Traves Olson Profile Photo
1972 Traves 2017

Traves Olson

August 29, 1972 — September 22, 2017

Life Story for Traves R. Olson

Traves Olson, 45, passed away peacefully at home in Ketchum, Idaho surrounded by family and friends on September 22, 2017. He was born in Jerome County, Idaho on August 29, 1972 to Margie McClain and Calvin Olson. He graduated from Valley High School where he played football and basketball, winning the high school state football championship in 1990. He went on to play football at Idaho State University in Pocatello. During college he became an avid fly fisherman and a raft guide. After graduating from Idaho State University, he later received his MBA from Boise State University. He met his wife, Julie Robertson Olson, in Boise, Idaho and they were married along the banks of his beloved Middle Fork of the Salmon River in the Frank Church Wilderness. He was an unbelievable father to their twin daughters, Brooklyn Claire Olson (10) and Sarah Margaret Olson (10). He had absolute enjoyment hiking, biking, skiing and rafting with them, as well as watching them cross country ski, play soccer, run, perform in theater and ballet and play their violin and cello.

He was a boatman through and through – loved the geology, natural history and water flow of every river he navigated. He guided on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, the Lower Salmon, and Hells Canyon - Snake River. Over the course of his life, he guided close to two hundred trips for Hughes River Expeditions where he made lifelong friends with clients and fellow raft guides. He also was a fishing guide in Idaho as well as in Chile. He followed his river career with building homes, particularly enjoying the construction of sustainably built homes. He built their family home north of Ketchum, an everlasting legacy to his children. He most recently was employed by custom homebuilder Krekow Jennings Inc. and loved the work and the friendships he made with the crew.

Traves is survived by his wife Julie and their twin daughters Brooklyn and Sarah. His mother Margie McClain of Hazelton, Idaho and his father Calvin Olson of Hazelton, Idaho. His sister Arin Olson of Rochester, New York. His mother-in-law and father-in-law Sarah and William Robertson of Shaker Heights, Ohio. His sister-in-law, Deborah Robertson (Jeff Lamoureux) of Ketchum, Idaho. His brother-in-law, John Robertson of Seattle, Washington. Nieces Hannah Robertson and Lucy Lamoureux. Nephews Graham Robertson and Will Lamoureux. And many aunts, uncles, and cousins. He is preceded in death by both maternal grandparents, Ralph and Wanda McClain and paternal grandparents, Raymond and Carma Olson.

The family would like to thank the St. Luke’s Health System for all the wonderful care that was provided to Traves during his battle with Glioblastoma Multiforme (primary brain cancer). Also tremendous thanks needs to be given to all of the friends and family that supported Traves on this journey. The family would ask that in lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to any of the following organizations: St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation (P.O. Box 7005, Ketchum, Idaho 83340), or Hemingway STEAM School P.A. (P.O. BOX 298, Ketchum, ID 83340), or Selway Bitteroot Frank Church Foundation (P. O. Box 1886, Boise, ID 83701), or an organization of your choice

A celebration of life will be held at 3:00 p.m., Saturday September 30, 2017, at the Limelight Hotel, 151 Main St S, Ketchum, Idaho. Please share a memory or photo and light a candle at

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


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