Dennis Olsen Celebration of Life, March 16, 2019

Dennis Olsen (1941-2019), also known as, “Captain Dennis,” was Hobie’s second employee of Hobie Surfboards and made a huge impact on the company. Below is his story, sent to us by his estate. To donate in Dennis’ name, please send your checks to “Hobie Memorial Foundation,” P.O. Box 195, Dana Point, CA  92629. To attend Captain Dennis’ memorial, please call his daughter, Lena Patton, at 951-318-7170.IMG_5714

From right to left, Dennis Olsen, Hobie Alter, and Jimmy Lomas (Hobie’s first employee at the surf shop), at Hobie’s 79th birthday celebration at the Surf Museum.


Dennis Edward Olsen: aka Captain Dennis, Capn’ and Denny was born March 2, 1941 in North Dakota to Edward Oliver Olsen and Bernice Evangeline Hanson Olsen. Dennis, the third of five children moved with family to Dana Point Ca. in 1954 He was married to the love of his life, Luana Olsen for over 43 years until her passing in June 2006. He immediately found kinship with the sand and sea and became one with the ocean soon after.


At the young age of 21, Dennis volunteered as crew, one of three, on the Sailboat PATAPSCO II and set sail from New Port Beach California to Port Jefferson New York via the Panama Canal and back home to California. The salt water became his blood and surfing, fishing, & sailing, became his lifestyle. His first job was under the tutelage of the iconic surfing and Surf Industry pioneer and legend “Hobie Alter” and his brand of namesake Hobie Surfboard Shop, Capistrano Beach California, Dennis started out sweeping floors and moved up to glassing and shaping. His craftsmanship was sought after. Dennis’s classmate James (Jimmy) Lomas was Hobie’s 1st employee who preceded Dennis in passing just this last year.


Dennis later went on to work for Dale Velzy , another iconic master Surfboard maker, Dennis, met the love of his life Luana Herrington shortly after their arrival from North Dakota, as his Sister Karen Olsen Knapp, became best friends. They were in the same grade. Dennis and Luana would not become an item until later when they were in their early 20’s. Luana was the daughter of two early Southern California pioneering surfers Voss and Margret Herrington also 2 founders of San Onofre Surf Club and Dana Point Yacht Club. Their best friends were surfing legends Lorrin & Cecelia Harrison. Luana being, an excellent Surfer herself, she and Dennis had that mutual interest as well as her being a child of parents of vast ocean interests. Luana in 1961 became the first Woman Surfer to appear in Surfer magazine and Dennis’s high school ceramics teacher was John Severson who started the famed “Surfer” magazine. Dennis & Luana would marry in 1964 and have their first and only child.


Lena Olsen Patton, a graduate of the class of 1982 from Hemet High School. Lena, naturally with a rich surfing legacy, history and heritage her parents and grandparents started, Lena founded a Vintage Swimwear Co. in honor of her Mother Luana and named after her . .. “Love Luana New Vintage Swimwear”. After years of making Surfboards, Dennis became a Master Carpenter as well,he worked for Lyman’s Redimix in Capo Beach, in the 60’s and drove truck cross country for a bit, a jack of all trades and a Master of most all of them, enjoying his life and friends near the Ocean. Later, Dennis moved his girls and himself to Hemet Ca. in 1976. Dennis & Luana would instantly make new friends never forgetting the ones they left and spent the rest of their days with.


Construction has been Dennis’s chosen trade and loved every bit of it, he loved working hard. Lena says “my dad is the hardest working man I’ve ever known”. She said she gets her work ethic from her father. He gained the love of many in the Hemet Valley by his honest, straightforward style. “Hey Mate” is what you’d here him say when he greeted you. Eight years ago, Dennis was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a manageable disease if caught early like his was. He underwent a stem cell transplant at UCLA 4 years ago and “sailed” right through. The same disease took the beautiful life of “Hobie” Alter, they linked my dads back to making surfboards.


Dennis has done well in and out of the hospital these past four years and would always pick up where ever he left off on a job. While in the hospital for a couple of weeks in December & gaining ground again as usual, with a twist of fate, Dennis met his maker in the early hours of Christmas Eve. He will be missed greatly & cherished in the hearts of many. Dennis is preceded in life and leaves his daughter Lena Olsen Patton, Brothers, Myron Olsen, Roger Olsen, Gary Olsen and Sister Karen Olsen Knapp. Celebration of his beautiful life will be held at his home on February 2 at 12 PM. In lieu of flowers please make a donation either SHAC (Surfing Heritage and Cultural Center) : 949-388-0313 or ~from the estate of Dennis Olsen, January 31, 2019


Upcoming events are forthcoming. See our past events below.




MONDAY, MAY 22, 2017






Click HERE for online payments / donations.


1)  Fill out the following form & mail / email to:


PO BOX 195


2)   Make check payable to the Hobie Memorial Foundation (Tax ID# 47-4245349)




Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Downstairs in the Cannons Restaurant was filled to capacity. The food was unbelievable. The ambiance couldn’t have been better. And funds were raised. Everyone showed up excited to honor Hobie Alter and to show their support for the Hobie Memorial Foundation’s goal to build a monument in the City of Dana Point. The night was a huge success!

Judy Henderson, Liz Bamattre, & Karin Schnell
Jim Stewart & Mark Christy



Nancy Jenkins & Barbara Johannes
Susan Alter, Robbie Roberson, & Caroline Wake
Cubby & Wayne Rayfield



Artists, Lance Jost & John Warren
Caroline Wake, Susan Alter, Wayne Schafer, Lance Jost & Jeff Alter
Wayne Schafer & Malcom Wilson






Marlene & Bruce Beal



Hobie Memorial Hawaiian Kick-Off Party


To pay by check, send to:  Hobie Memorial Foundation, PO Box 195, Dana Point, CA  92629


Dana Point Arts & Culture Commission Meeting – Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Hobie Memorial Foundation will be updating the progress of the Foundation to the Dana Point Arts & Culture Commission this coming Wednesday, January 20, 2016, at 6PM in the Council Chambers at the City of Dana Point, 33282 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, CA. We’d love it if you could come support our efforts.


Dana Point Tall Ships Festival – 09/12/15 – 09/13/15

The Hobie Memorial Board of Directors had a booth at the Tall Ships Festival this past weekend. We met a lot of interesting people and pirates, both local and from around the country, and got a chance to spread the word about our goal of building a memorial to Hobie Alter in Dana Point.

Early Morning Pilgrim