Michael Olts | TheUnion.com

Michael Olts

Michael “Mike” Olts passed away Aug. 4 at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital after a brief illness.

A private memorial service was held on Sept. 13 at his residence on Old Pond Lane.

Mr. Olts was born on Sept. 3, 1937, in Oakland, and lived in Grass Valley for the last 20 years. For many years, he worked in real estate and was very familiar with mining properties in the area. For the past six years, he established and maintained the “Old Pond Wildlife Refuge and Bird Sanctuary,” caring for a variety of orphaned animals and birds.

Mr. Olts traveled widely in his youth, including a trek across the Sahara Desert. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved surfing, which he pursued on beaches around the world. He explored and knew all of the river drainages in our area. All who knew him, loved his free spirit and ability to truly savor the joys of life.

Mr. Olts is survived by his partner of many years, Erika Knecht; daughter, Rari Olts and granddaughter Samantha of Concord; brother, Wayne Olts of Grass Valley; sister, Ardis Crist and brother-in-law Bud Crist of Oakland, and three nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Doris Olts-Frey.

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