Earlene Olson Guinn of Columbia, Maryland, passed away on Saturday, May 2, 2020 at age 71. Earlene was born on May 24, 1948 in Grafton, North Dakota, daughter of the late Helen and Earl Olson and stepdaughter to the late Alice Olson.
Earlene is survived by her devoted husband of 47 years, Freddie “Fred” Guinn; her daughters, Kendal (Lee) Manson, Marlon (Andrew) Guinn and Torrey Guinn; her sister, Joanne Olson; grandchildren, Theo and Merrit Lewis; Ann Vickers, her lifelong best friend; loving in-laws, nieces and nephews extending from the Guinn, Lewis, and Jones families; numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins extending from the Grant, Olson, and Shortridge families; and a host of long-time friends.
Earlene graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1971 with a Bachelors of Science degree in History Education.
Prior to graduating, Earlene clerked on Capitol Hill for her senator in the summer of 1970. It was during this time that she met her future husband, Fred Guinn, on the steps of the American History Museum in Washington, DC. After graduating, she returned to Washington with $200 and a few possessions, intent on starting her life in the big city and resuming her romance with Fred. Earlene and Fred picked up right where they had left off the summer before and were married two years later on June 7, 1973.
Over the next 12 years, they welcomed four daughters to the world: Kendal Elise, Merrit Armelle (deceased), Marlon Elanne, and Torrey Aurora.
She held many jobs over her lifetime, from work in her father’s hardware store, to a summer job hoeing beets, to a very long and accomplished career as an accountant. However, the job she loved and treasured most of all was her role as wife, mom, and eventually, grandma.
Earlene shared with her family her love of music, arts and crafts, travel, and adventure. One of her defining characteristics was her flexibility and openness to new experiences with a “let’s do it” response to almost anything. She knew how to enjoy life, and not sweat the small stuff.
While Earlene was an adventurous free spirit, she could also be defined by her unyielding kindness and grace, even in the face of obstacles. She believed in treating people with the utmost love and instilled in her daughters the conviction, “do unto others...” She believed in the importance of standing up for what was right, and bringing laughter and good humor to every situation. She embodied kindness, generosity, and unconditional love.
We invite you to share a memory of Earlene or other comment in our guestbook on this webpage.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Kennedy Krieger Institution in Earlene’s name, https://supportus.kennedykrieger.org/site/Donation2?df_id=5380&mfc_pref=T&5380.donation=form1, or 707 North Broadway, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, Attn: Office of Philanthropy.
The Kennedy Krieger Institution is the world’s premier institution dedicated to improving the lives of children and young adults with care and research focused on pediatric developmental disabilities and disorders of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system.
Earlene was grateful for the Institute’s programs and services and she witnessed first-hand her grandchild’s extraordinary growth after attending KKI’s Feeding Disorder Clinic and the Center for Autism’s Achievements Day Program.
A Note of Thanks
The Family of Earlene Guinn would like to express thanks to those who have shared condolences during this time.
Proverbs: 31 Verse 10 - 12
Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Proverbs: 31 Verse 25 - 29
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.