Inez (Olson) Schwarzkopf ’59 passed away on June 24, 2023.
Inez’s connection to Augsburg dates back to her father, Iver Olson ’35, who taught Norwegian and theology at Augsburg for over 20 years. A self-proclaimed “faculty brat,” Inez graduated from Augsburg College, cum laude, with a degree in English in 1959. During her time in school, she was named to the Lambda Iota Tau Literary Honor Society and The Augsburg Guild of Honor, and served as an editor of the school yearbook. All of her siblings (Magne Olson ’58, Jeanette Locke ’57, and Merlin Olson ’64) attended Augsburg, along with several extended family members. One of her daughters, Ilse Rolf, graduated from Augsburg in 1993. Ilse and her daughter Nissa Rolf work in Augsburg’s Institutional Advancement department.
Inez met her husband Lyall Schwarzkopf when she worked at Messenger Press Bookstore on 22nd and Riverside while she was a student. They were married for 65 years. While raising four children, Inez continued her education and received an MA degree from the University of Minnesota, where she was awarded first place in fiction writing by the Minnesota Daily. Inez built a freelance career in writing and editing before moving into adult education, communication, organizational development, and marketing in the American Lutheran church.
Throughout the years, Inez acquired many accolades for her work and support of Augsburg, including being named an Augsburg Distinguished Alumna in 1991 and serving as a regent between 1982-1990 and 1992-1998.
Her unwavering faith and generosity led her and Lyall to support many of Augsburg’s efforts over the years. She was a key player in planning for and establishing the Bernhard Christensen Endowment, along with establishing the Inez Olson Schwarzkopf Scholarship, which supports undergraduate students majoring in English.
Inez spent the better part of her later years with her six grandchildren and traveling. She traveled to all seven continents. Her most memorable trips include riding the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Beijing to St. Petersburg and a cruise from South America to Antarctica.
Check out some of Inez’s memorable moments over the years:
A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 7, at 11:00 a.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 4100 Lyndale Ave South, Minneapolis. Visitation will take place Thursday, July 6, from 4–7:00 p.m. at the Washburn-McReavy Nokomis Park Chapel and one hour prior to the funeral service at the church. Additional details can be found in her obituary.
Please join us in holding all of Inez’s family and friends in prayer as we grieve her loss and celebrate her life.