Merlin Olsen’s Wife Susan Wakley Amended The Pair’s Lawsuit For His Death

By AustinPublished on: February 28, 2024 Updated on: February 28, 2024
Birthday June 1940
Birthplace Utah
Age 83 years
Husband Late Merlin Olsen
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Susan Wakley is renowned for being the wife of Merlin Olsen. Their wedding vow, “Till Death Do Us Part,” was true, as Wakley was with Olsen when he took his last breath in 2010. They were married for almost five decades and would likely have gone past it if death had not intervened.

During their union, the pair became parents to three wonderful children, whom they cherished and loved every day. While Merlin’s story is full of grand achievements, like how he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his extensive career in the NFL, his spouse was an essential part of it.

Let’s delve into the details of Susan’s life and her association with her hubby.

Susan Wakley’s Parents Were Married For 12 Years

Susan was born in June 1940 to Lillias Evelyn Hayward Wakley and Ralph Charles Wakely. They had been married for over a decade until Ralph’s tragic demise in March 1948.

Susan’s mother was an associate editor of the Utah Education Association‘s bi-monthly magazine. Unfortunately, she also passed away on January 3, 2010, following a colon cancer surgery.

Merlin Olsen's wife, Susan Wakley's parents are no more
Susan’s mother and father enjoyed marital bliss for 12 years.

Similarly, Susan has a sibling named Ralph Charles Wakley, Jr. As for her late maternal grandfather, Dr. J.W. Hayward was an exceptional figure. He was a medicine practitioner in Bear Lake for over 40 years.

Susan Wakley And Her Late Husband, Merlin Olsen, Were College Sweethearts

Like many lovebirds out there, the Wakley pair’s relationship blossomed during their collegiate days. The couple met at Utah State University. After briefly dating, they tied the knot on March 30, 1962. They took the important decisions of their lives together.

The Olsens initially treated football as a temporary job and wanted to dedicate only two years, which later became the whole essence of Merlin’s life.

Besides, Susan had always been candid about what football could and could not do for the family, and they decided accordingly. She was often described as a captivating partner, and their longstanding marriage proves that.

Merlin Olsen’s Wife Is A Mother Of Three

During their union, they welcomed three wonderful kids: Kelly, Jill, and Nathan Olsen. The elder daughters, Kelly and Jill, were born in 1966 and 1968, respectively, while the youngest son, Nathan, was born in 1974.

Merlin Olsen and his wife, Susan Wakley, had three children
The Olsen family having a great time.

Nathan was a football player who played as a defensive lineman and blocking fullback for Stanford. His father had retired when he was three, so to him, Merlin was an actor and not a former football player. He has stated that he did not like when his football legend dad commented on his game.

As a result, Susan had to remind her kid who Merlin was.

Similarly, the late Merlin was quite close with his little ones, as they spent their time fishing and golfing together almost daily.

Sadly, Susan Wakley Lost Her Husband In 2010

After leaving an indelible mark on both the football and the entertainment industry, Merlin tragically passed away on March 11, 2010. He had been with his wife for about 48 years till then. His legacy is carried on by his living descendants — his children and grandchildren.

Merlin’s death was a blow to not just his family but the larger football world in general. Suffering from mesothelioma, a form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs, he took his last breath at City of Hope hospital, surrounded by his loving family.

Susan’s Legal Battle For Her Husband’s Sake

Merlin had sued 38 companies, including NBC Studios, 2oth Century Fox Film Corp., and Sherwin Williams, for exposing him to Asbestos, which was the cause of his rare cancer diagnosis.

Following his death, Susan amended the suit, claiming the above-mentioned companies had allegedly killed her hubby. His exposure to Asbestos was during construction work in high school and college days and later on TV and movie sets.

Nevertheless, NBC was dropped out of the suit as they did not know asbestos hazards, so they had no “duty of care” to warn the former footballer about its health hazards.

Presently, Susan lives in Pasadena, California. Her name has already been engraved beside her husband’s grave.

Merlin Olsen's wife, Susan Wakley's name engraved by his name
Susan’s name engraved beside Merlin’s.

So, even if something were to happen to her, she would be by her better half’s side in death, like they were in life.