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A Tribute to

Roxann Olaisen

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Roxann Olaisen, age 83, of Melbourne passed away peacefully on Friday June 26, 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She is remembered by family and friends as a wife, mother, friend and teacher having the perfect balance of strength, compassion, intelligence, understanding and kindness. Her thoughtfulness touched everyone around her making the world a better place as best exemplified by the 30+ years she devoted to teaching children and adults to read.

Roxann graduated from Melbourne High School, then at the Ruth Henegar Center, in 1955 and was married to her life-long love, Artie Olaisen, Sr., in 1956 to whom she was married for 64 years. After raising her two young sons, Artie Jr. and Keith, to school age, Roxann went back to Ruth Henegar Elementary in 1966 as an assistant librarian. This was a pivotal time in the school system as Congress had just passed the Title 1 program in 1965 designed to dramatically reform education with a focus on reading fundamentals. After nearly 8 years as a librarian, Roxann went on to teach reading at Palm Bay Elementary from 1974-1991 followed by another 6 years of reading instruction at Turner Elementary prior to her retirement in 1997. Her compassion went beyond teaching students to read as her son will recount a touching story of her packing an extra lunch to help a child in need who was struggling with food insecurities,

As a tribute to her, the family had asked that donations be made in her name in lieu of flowers to the Rolling Readers Space Coast program ( which is devoted to the same mission of sharing the gift of reading that Roxann had. There could be no greater tribute to this incredible woman than continuing her legacy of helping open the world to students through the gift of reading.

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