Olga Bondar Unger died peacefully October 13, 2008 in Port Orange, Florida.
She celebrated her 91st birthday on July 18, 2008. Beloved wife of Quentin for 62 years, loving mother of three cherished sons and daughters-in-law: Christopher and Nancy (New Smyrna Beach, FL), Timothy and Rene’ (Menlo Park, CA), and Peter and Suzanne (Pinckney, MI). Olga was the loving grandmother to three treasured grandchildren: Joshua, Wesley and Anna-Elaine. She adored her many nieces and nephews, and those of the “grand variety.”
Olga, the oldest of three children (Sophia Klonick - deceased (Olga's "forever side-kick"), Rochester, NY, and Alex Bondar (Olga's "little brother"), Foster City, CA), was born in Brooklyn, NY, and grew up on Long Island where she earned her diploma from Patchogue High School. With her quick mind, creative talents, and the constant support of her family, Olga went on to graduate from both The State University of New York at Brockport and Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts where she flourished in the arts and triumphed in her educational pursuits.
Throughout her life, teaching children was her mission and mantra. She had an inner light that shined as she helped shape the lives of those youngsters whom she touched with her magic. Olga taught in East Islip, NY from 1939 through 1947 and continued her loving mission for 25 years as a substitute teacher in Gardiner, Maine and North Caldwell, New Jersey.
Olga's passion, however, was the arts.
Active in music and dramatics in high school, summer stock, and at both Universities, Olga was the lead in many plays and musicals -- none more favorite than Noel Coward's ''Blythe Spirit.” She choreographed Brockport’s Apple Blossom Festival in 1938, and was celebrated as its Apple Blossom Queen. At her 50th reunion, she was honored as one of Brockport’s greatest vocal music graduates. She thoroughly enjoyed her summers as the Art & Drama Director at Silver Lake Camp in Hawkeye, NY (1938-47) where she could meld her inventive teaching style with her passion for the arts while surrounded by enthusiastic campers and dear friends! During WWII, she also held an active leadership role in the rationing program in NY State.
Olga loved creating images whether performing on stage, singing great music, constructing beautiful stage sets, or sewing imaginative costumes for actors, or, her own children. In addition, she was an accomplished water colorist who shared her gift by teaching children's art classes.
Olga gave up what likely would have been a promising career on the stage to raise her three boys, and as she always said, “I wouldn’t have given that role up for anything in the world.” She cherished her role as Mom to Chris, Tim and Peter, and wife to Quentin. She truly took joy in sharing her creative gifts with her family through the clothes she hand-crafted or the tasty pies she made—she enjoyed quite a reputation for her apple pies and cherry cheesecake!!
Olga was a born wordsmith who took pleasure in successfully completing the daily New York Times Cross Word Puzzle ”in pen” while she hummed to Pavarotti singing in the background–and, when it came time for a friendly game of Scrabble, everyone wanted Mom as their partner! Her family will have fond memories of Olga and her crossword puzzles which she enjoyed up to the day she died!
We were all warmed hearing her say as she picked up the telephone, "Hi, how are you Honey?" Olga brought joy and light to all those she touched with her gentleness, her singing laugh, and her kind heart, and will be truly missed by her loving family and friends.
The family has suggested in lieu of flowers, and in Olga’s honor, a memorial contribution be made to “The Olga Bondar Unger Memorial Scholarship Fund” for the pursuit of Theater & Arts at S.U.N.Y. Brockport. All contributions can be sent in the form of a personal check made out to “Tim Unger” and sent to: 431 Vine Street, Menlo Park, CA 94025.
12:00 PM at Baldwin Brothers Funeral & Cremation Service 1 North Causeway New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 on October 18, 2008 (map/driving directions)
10:00Am to 12:00 PM at Baldwin Brothers Funeral & Cremation Service 1 North Causeway New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 on October 18, 2008 (map/driving directions)