Olga's passing is not unexpected, but certainly reveals to me and I hope others what
a contribution she made to Christian life. She overcame the limits of our existence by being, among
other things, disarming - approaching and connecting with both strangers and friends in a joyful manner. Her fluency in languages left many native speakers claiming she was one of them, making them feel at home.
Her social life was legendary, spreading
friendship and togetherness in a tireless manner. Perhaps a captain from the former USSR merchant marine
is still alive who was a frequent guest along with his chosen crew members at her dinner table.
Literary evenings - Olga and her husband Slava always opened the season in the fall.
The living room was bursting with people, all eager to see, hear and talk to each other about subjects both serious and trivial.
Summers were spent hosting school age children at the summer dacha/cottage and lake. Grandparents
were also present, once spending winter using a wood burning stove and a manual water pump while caring for children. A local farmer would bring fresh milk from his cows, even using skis if the snow was too deep for his horses. Slava would play Santa Claus by emerging from the forest on skis.
Olga was born in 1924 in Prague, raised in Czechoslovakia, arrived in Canada after WWII, married in 1949 and raised two
children (Helen and Youri). She was awarded a Masters of Arts in Russian history from Université de Montréal,
worked as librarian at the Montreal Childrens' Library, volunteered as Sunday school teacher at Sts Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox cathedral, founding member of the Sign of the Theotokos Orthodox church, church choir singer, home care giver for Slava in his declining years - the list is endless.
May her memory be eternal. Vechnaya pamat'.
Christ is Risen!