Cover photo for Craig L Olson's Obituary
Craig L Olson Profile Photo
1942 Craig 2024

Craig L Olson

November 12, 1942 — February 3, 2024

Craig was born in Detroit, Michigan. His father, Paul, was a civil engineer. His mother, Ruth, was a teacher. Following his father’s untimely death, the family moved to Southern California. He and his brother Bill and sister Karen all attended and graduated from UCLA. Craig graduated with a B.S. Phi Beta Kappa in 1964. In 1970 he received his PhD in theoretical plasma physics, also from UCLA. Later that year he took his place at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His first position was with the Plasma Theory Division. Then he was manager of the Beam, Plasma and EM Theory Department. Finally, he was a Senior Scientist for the Pulsed Power Sciences Center and Z-IFE Program Manager. He authored and co-authored numerous scientific publications. He traveled to conferences all over the U.S. and others in Russia, China, Japan, France, Greece and Portugal. He retired in 2007.

Craig was a musician and played both piano and violin. He was a skilled carpenter. He renovated an historic home in a Colorado mountain town, doing nearly all the work himself. He fought battles to keep the historic nature of the town.

He and his partner, Leslie, shared a love of Scandinavian folk dance. They directed the Albuquerque Scandinavian dance group for several years. After the group ended, they continued attending dance workshops, practicing, rehearsing and performing. Members of the Albuquerque Scandinavian Club, they performed at least once a year for a main club event. They performed for other events as well.

Craig was gifted. He was generous. He always took the time and trouble he needed to achieve the high standards of his vision.

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