Merle Barrus Olsen of Logan was named "Honorary Utah Mother of the Year" Sunday by American Mothers Inc. of Utah. The announcement was made by her son, Merlin Olsen, football player and actor, at the annual Interfaith Devotional of American Mothers Inc. in the Logan Tabernacle.

Olsen told anecdotes about his childhood and mother before surprising her with the award. "She is an inspiration to all of us, brimming with faith, trust and courage. She is an example of dedicated, resourceful and energetic parenting, a wife, mother, grandmother, church worker, teacher and friend," he said.Olsen is the wife of the late Lynn Olsen and mother of nine children, Colleen Davis, Clark, Lorraine Elzinga, Gwen Saltern, Phil, twins Winona Barrett and Ramona Whitaker, and Orrin, many of whom were present for the award. This special award is given only occasionally to an outstanding mother who has exemplified the teaching of moral and spiritual values in the house.

Sen. Lyle Hillyard of Logan read the joint resolutions of the Senate and House of Representatives commending American Mothers Inc., National Mother of the Year Nadine T. Matis of Ogden and Young Mother Marilyn Bambrough of River Heights for their contributions to strengthening Utah families.

This ecumenical event is planned annually by American Mothers Inc. to bring families of all faiths and backgrounds together to recognize and promote the mutual need for spiritual values in family life. Chairman was Marilyn Bambrough, 1990 Utah Young Mother.