About Ken Olsen


About Us





Contact Us



HistoryCultureDigital's HeritageThe MillSpit Brook EngProducts & Svcs FacilitiesDigital in PrintFilm LibraryOur DEC StoriesPromo MuseumLinks

Ken's LeadershipOur MemorialsGordon College

In Memoriam - Kenneth H. Olsen, 1926-2011

Gordon College's Memorial Service for Ken

Gordon College held a beautiful Memorial Service for Ken Olsen on Sat., May 14, 2011.  Ken's family was in attendance.

Thanks to the generosity and assistance of Gordon College, we now have posted audio/video of the Memorial Service on our website.  Click on the following links.  They are huge files and might take a lot of time to view or download.

Here is a link to the Program for this service, and the map of the locations at the Event.

Here are some comments from Nancy Kilty, of the DEC Connection Board:

The Memorial was well attended with over 800 registrations.

Everyone who spoke was quite articulate on what Ken's contribution was to them personally and the institutions they served. MIT is celebrating its 150th year anniversary http://mit150.mit.edu/exhibition

and Ken has 5 inventions/contributions to science out of the 150 that they are displaying.

Ken supervised volunteers at the Park St Church during his many years helping them. He learned some  things about motivation from the volunteers. He also realized folks other than scientists could benefit from computers.

Ken's son, James, spoke and was clearly quite proud of his father. From both he and others, it was clear that Ken was the same person whether at home or work, being among famous people or in his canoe.

And finally, though we knew Ken was a humble man and remained anonymous in his charitable gifts, his trust foundation has made over 200M in gifts, with about 1/3 given to education and grants to allow those in need to obtain a college education. His stipulation was that they give back to their communities in some way.

  • Memorial Service: 3:30 - 4:30 PM at the A. J. Gordon Memorial Chapel
  • Reception: 4:30 - 6 PM
  • Exhibits: special, temporary exhibits of Kenís archives and other Digital memorabilia
  • We are still collecting your remembrances for our DEC Connection Ken Olsen Memorial page at www.decconnection.org/KOmemorials.htm

You can enjoy Gordon College's excellent online videos about Ken and his legacy at: www.gordon.edu/kenolsen

Here is a blog entry posted by Michael Heiser following the Memorial Service called "Workplace Culture: DEC's Role Model" - has great remembrances of Ken's values and corporate culture, including an image of Ken's employee badge


We have received the tremendously sad news from Joanne Jacobs that Ken passed away on Sunday, Feb 6th.


"Today I spoke with Betty Olsen who asked me to use my email list to let family and friends know that Ken Olsen passed away, yesterday in Indiana, with his immediate family all around him. Ken had been in ill health for the last few months and was in Hospice care. Sad time for their family now, but Ken and Aulikki had a wonderful life. It's sad to know that they both have now passed."
Ken would have celebrated his 85th birthday on February 20th. 


Rest in peace, Ken, and thank you for all the contributions you have made to our world, and for enriching all of our lives.

Our heartfelt condolences go to the entire Olsen family.

Friends and former colleagues are encouraged to leave a memory about Ken Olsen on www.gordon.edu/kenolsen.  (Please also send note for our website page of memorials to webmaster@decconnection.org.)

This page for Gifts in Memory of Ken Olsen is active on the Gordon College website.

For those visiting this site to learn more about Ken and his values and legacy, please see the videos and notes from our 2008 celebration at the dedication of the Ken Olsen Science Center at Gordon College - with wonderful testimonial speeches by Win Hindle, Rod Sutherland, and Debra Amidon.


Photograph taken at the Gordon College Tribute to Ken Olsen in June 2006.

Links to obituaries and memorials:    

Digital Man Digital World online at PBS - click here for link  watch free


The DVD of Digital Man Digital World is now available; cost is $24.95 plus shipping.   Click here to shopPBS to purchase.



Ken Olsen 1957-1989 Video about Digital - 19  min. video: A comprehensive look at Digital from its beginnings in 1957. Ken Olsen has interesting anecdotes and a twinkle in his eye as he talks.


Gordon College's tribute Videos about Ken Olsen and his legacy:

A bio of Ken from www.economicadventure.org


Ken Olsen has been elected to Electronic Design Magazine's Hall of Fame in their December 2011 issue.  Click below to see the articles:

Here is a speech by Ken to the Maynard Historical Society in 1998 (60 min.)



Copyright© 2006-2021 by The DEC ConnectionTM and DECconnectionTM..  All rights reserved.  E-mail the Webmaster.