[Mnbird] Death of Tom Soulen

Manley Olson manleyolson at gmail.com
Sun Aug 2 18:52:15 CDT 2015

Tom Soulen died in hospice on July 28 at age 80.  Tom was a long-time 
member of MOU.  He taught Plant Biology at the U of Minnesota for 38 
years and received many teaching awards.  He was also involved in the 
music community and was choir director for 35 years at North Como 
Presbyterian Church in Roseville.  I not only birded with Tom in 
Minnesota, Wisconsin and New Mexico but also talked birding with him 
almost every Sunday after church.  The only person I ever birded with 
who matched his ability to hear and identify birds by calls and notes 
was Sam Robbins.

Tom grew up in Wisconsin, earned his PhD at the U of Wisconsin in 
Madison, and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology continued to be a 
vital part of his life even while living in Minnesota.  For many years 
he edited the Summer Seasonal Reports in the Passenger Pigeon and was 
honored by the WSO with a silver Pigeon Award.

Tom was also an active Minnesota lister in Ramsey and Hennepin 
Counties.  On September 27, 1982, he recorded one of the first sightings 
of a Wheatear in Minnesota.  He saw it in Roseville, just a few blocks 
from where I lived but a family death kept me from searching for the 
bird.  One of his greatest biding disappointments was a trip to
Attu that never left mainland Alaska due to bad weather.

Services will be September 12 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in 
Minneapolis.  The family prefers memorials to the Wisconsin Society for 

Manley Olson

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