Squib, we tip our golf caps to you

Our La Crosse County Amateur Golf Championships lost a longtime family member last week.
Margaret “Squib” Olsen went to eternal heaven on Wednesday, April 29, after a long battle with cancer.
Squib was our head rules official for the Men's, Women's, Seniors and Juniors County Amateurs from 1991 through 2013. She also was the first-ever woman to become County Am chairman in 1996 and was a longtime board member.
Yet, Squib was so much more than that. She was a friend to everyone she met. Always smiling and upbeat even in the most difficult times, Squib could always find a ray of sunshine peeking through dark clouds from above.
That was just her way.
Oh sure, Squib was a fierce competitor, but she had to be growing up as the youngest of six children to Earling and Mildred (Rosenow) Olsen. She was born July 23, 1950. The Olsens lived in tiny Galesville, WI.
She was given the nickname “Squib” as a youngster, by her oldest brother, Jerry. There was a character in a book that reminded him of her, a little spit-fire tomboy. Squib enjoyed all sports, especially when she was called up to fill in on the Galesville boys baseball team, and showed them how well a girl could hit and pitch. It was a time when there were no organized sports for girls. That didn't prevent Squib from tucking her braided red hair under her over-sized baseball cap. Squib ran, hit, threw, pitched and made all sorts of defensive plays from the infield that left boys and men asking, "Who is this kid anyway?"
Squib was not only an all-star in baseball, she was an even better golfer.  
Graduating from Gale-Ettrick High School in 1968, Squib became a household name in Coulee Region golf circles. She captured the Western Wisconsin Women's Amateur in ‘69 and ‘70, playing her first tournament round barefoot because neither she nor her parents could afford golf shoes.
In the mid 1970’s, Squib's budding golf journey took her to California where she won four tournaments on the Women’s Professional Golf Tour from 1976-79. One great thrill in California was breaking LPGA Hall of Famer Mickey Wright’s course record with a 5-under-par 68, while winning the Visalia Open in Visalia, CA. In 1978, Squib won three WPGT tournaments and cashed $7,000.
When Squib wasn't golfing on the WPGT and trying to reach her lifetime dream of qualifying for the LPGA Tour, she was teaching the game to young and old alike while living and working in Palm Desert, Ca. It was a different lifestyle Squib wasn't familiar with, especially playing a round with PGA golf legend Arnold Palmer once. Yet, Squib missed her roots in the Coulee Region, especially hometown Galesville, hailed as the Garden of Eden.
Squib returned to Wisconsin in 1990 to become assistant pro at Cedar Creek Country Club in Onalaska. From there she went to Drugan's Castle Mound Golf Course in Holmen as head pro for seven more years before becoming executive director of the Three Rivers Golf Association for 14 years.
All the while, Squib lived in her childhood home, helping take care of her mother, tending to her gardens and visiting with lifelong neighbors. Squib's sister, Ruth, cared for her the last 6½ years during her battle with cancer.
Squib was preceded in death by her parents and brother Jerry. She is survived by sisters Carol, Dee and Ruth and brother LDO, along with many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and four great, great nephews.
Squib's obituary stated,"She is also survived by YOU, her amazing friends and golfing family. She was tremendously grateful for all the kindness and compassion from all of you through her tournament of life."
Jackie and Bruce Kaiser, associate directors for the County Amateur since Squib was forced to leave when diagnosed with cancer, echoed what many people feel.
"She was an amazing person who grew the game of golf in the area, mainly through her work with juniors," said Jackie. "She was someone the young golfers loved. Our son, Jeff, respected her so much and learned a lot from her about how to handle yourself on and off the course."
Bruce added, "Her way of advising County Am golfers about rules concerns was something to see. She was kind and understanding, but firm about the integrity of the game. Coulee Region golf sure will miss her."
As executive director of the County Amateurs since 1991, I will always remember Squib as the "straw that stirred the drink."
Here's an everlasting toast to my friend, one of the Coulee Region's greatest gifts to golf.