Cover photo for Ellen Stephens Olsen's Obituary
Ellen Stephens Olsen Profile Photo

Ellen Stephens Olsen

July 13, 1934 — December 15, 2023

Denver

Ellen Stephens Olsen

Ellen Stephens Olsen passed away peacefully at her home on December 15, 2023. She will be remembered by all who knew her as a remarkable woman who touched many lives with generosity, integrity, a love of learning, and boundless energy.

Ellen was born on July 13, 1934 in Arcadia, Florida to Leonard Oscar (Steve) Stephens and Martha Poindexter Stephens. Ellen grew up in Fort Pierce, Florida with her brother Courtney. She was a star student and class Valedictorian at St. Lucie County High School. She played the clarinet in the school band and was involved in debate, speech, and drama. Ellen loved her years at the University of Florida and graduated in 1956 with a major in political science.

Ellen married shortly after college and moved to Wilton, CT. She raised four daughters and encouraged them to approach life with confidence and curiosity. In 1971, the family moved to Guadalajara, Mexico where she rose to meet many challenges with grace and practicality.

After returning to the States, now divorced, Ellen embraced a new chapter in her life. She embarked on a successful career as a financial adviser at a time when few women entered this competitive field. She started with A.G. Edwards, and eventually retired from Ameriprise in 2016. She was dedicated to her clients, helping them achieve their financial goals, celebrating their birthdays and life events, and hosting memorable holiday parties.

Ellen married the love of her life, Don Smith, in January of 1996. Together they traveled widely – bicycle trips to Europe, visits to their children and grandchildren, and flights in Don’s small plane. They gave generously of their time and resources to family, friends, the missionaries, and their church. Ellen loved flowers and plants and after her retirement spent many hours transforming her yard into beautiful gardens with the help of dear friend Carson Erickson.

Ellen is survived by her husband Don Smith, daughters Torie Olsen (Lupe), Anne Olsen, Martha Olsen Joyce (Michael), Alie Olsen (Greg), and granddaughters Katie and Shannon Joyce. She is also survived by nephews David Stephens and Paul Stephens, sons of her late brother Courtney Stephens (Peggy).

We remember Ellen with love and gratitude as we celebrate the remarkable life she lived and the positive impact she had on so many people.

A Memorial Service to celebrate Ellen's life will be held on January 4, 10:00am, at Horan & McConaty, Southeast Denver (11150 E Dartmouth Ave, Aurora, CO 80014) with a reception immediately following. All are welcome to attend and share in the remembrance of a beautiful woman and a life well lived.

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

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, January 4, 2024

9:30 - 10:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Horan & McConaty Funeral Service and Cremation - Southeast Denver/Aurora

11150 E Dartmouth Ave, Aurora, CO 80014

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, January 4, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

Horan & McConaty Funeral Service and Cremation - Southeast Denver/Aurora

11150 E Dartmouth Ave, Aurora, CO 80014

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Reception

Thursday, January 4, 2024

11:00am - 12:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Graveside Service

Private Service

Fort Logan National Cemetery

3698 S Sheridan Blvd, Denver, CO 80236

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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