C. Dean Olson; Egg Producer and Beverly Hills Civic Leader
C. Dean Olson, former mayor of Beverly Hills and national egg producer and distributor who developed the foam egg carton, has died. He was 86.
Olson, who had a heart condition, died Tuesday at his Beverly Hills home.
A resident of Beverly Hills for more than half a century, Olson served as a councilman from 1948 to 1952 and as mayor from 1951 to 1952. He was also chairman of the Beverly Hills Planning Commission.
In the mid-1930s, Olson co-founded the Sherman Oaks-based Olson Farms Inc. with his brother, H. Glenn Olson. The company became a leading producer, processor and distributor of eggs.
Olson was a National Advisory Committee member for the poultry industry under U.S. secretaries of agriculture Clinton Anderson and Charles Brannon, served as president of the Pacific Egg and Poultry Assn., and was a director of Pacific Egg Marketing Assn., United Egg Producers and Southwestern Egg Producers.
In the 1960s, the Olsons, working with Dow Chemical, founded Dolco Packaging Corp. to develop and manufacture the first foam egg carton. The plastics company also created the Big Mac hamburger package for McDonald’s.
Faced with increasing medical warnings about the cholesterol content of eggs and declining national consumption of eggs, the brothers realized the bulk of their profits from plastics rather than eggs.
“I have great confidence in the egg industry,” Dean Olson, the largest shareholder, declared in 1985 when the brothers effectively split their operations. Dean Olson kept the eggs and Glenn Olson took the five plastics manufacturing plants.
Dean Olson was born Nov. 20, 1907, in Fairview, Utah. In 1930, he graduated from the University of Utah, where he was an all-conference guard on the football team from 1928 to 1930. Honored as a University of Utah distinguished alumnus, last year he also was named to the university’s All Century Football Team 1892-1992.
Olson served on national advisory councils for the University of Utah and Brigham Young University and earned the Abraham O. Smoot award for public service from Brigham Young.
A Mormon, Olson served as bishop, high councilor and high priest group leader at the Beverly Hills and Westwood Ward congregations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
In addition to his brother, Olson is survived by his wife of 58 years, Alma; a son and daughter, Peter and Linda, of Beverly Hills; a sister, Ruby Haight, of Salt Lake City, and two grandchildren.
Funeral services are scheduled at 1 p.m. today after viewing beginning at noon at the Westwood Ward Chapel, 10740 Ohio Ave., West Los Angeles. Internment will be at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills.
Memorial donations may be made to the Ettie Lee Home for Boys, 5146 N. Maine Ave., Baldwin Park, Calif. 91706.