Family lights four decade old Christmas tree one last time

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW)-- For 44 years Neil Olson kept the family tree in the living room until all of his sons came home for Christmas. But after Neil died last month, his family thought it would be best to move on.

"My father passed away. So now we're taking it down because there's no chance of getting the six boys home again," said Richard Olson, Neil's son.

Since the 1970's at least one of the Olson boys were away for Christmas.

"Sometimes four or five. Nut never the sixth one again," Olson said.

But over the years the tree just became another member of the family that would help to greet house guests.

"They would look in the corner and be like, what is that? Oh that’s our tree. Your tree? We've had it up for so many years. And had so many people ask, you walk in and it's a part of the furniture and a part of the family you know? It's there you know, sentimental values," Olson said.

With such a heavy sentimental value, this change won’t be easy for the Olson family.

"It's going to take me some time every time I walk into that living room. To walk into that corner and see my dad in that urn, and to see that Christmas tree missing," Olson added.

But Richard got his father something to keep him company in his corner, to help remember what was there before.

"That's going to be his Christmas tree on top of his urn forever, as long as I live," Olson said.

After taking the tree outside the Olson’s wanted to put the tree on display, one last time.

"I'm just looking up in the sky right now and looking to see a cloud like my dad. Looking down on us."