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Olia de Nesnera

7/25/2010

Olia de Nesnera (née Donn) age 93 of Pompton Lakes on Sunday July 25, 2010 at home.  Her passing was quiet and peaceful and a welcome rest after a long and gracious life journey. 

 

She was born in Helsinki, Finland on June 1st, 1917 to a family who found great comfort in their devotion to the Russian Orthodox faith. Her father was a naval officer in the Imperial Russian Navy stationed in Finland which was part of the Russian empire at that time.

 

When the Russian Revolution broke out and the Bolsheviks started wielding power it became a very threatening problem for many Russian citizens of any stature which included military officers and their families. After fleeing the Revolution and following a circuitous route, the Donn family found themselves in France.  Olia was only four years old at that time. She grew up in France and lived through WW II and the German occupation.

 She met her husband, Peter de Nesnera, in central Europe, when she was hired by his Hungarian parents as his French tutor. Peter's parents educated their two children via what we call in this day “home schooling”.  Peter grew up speaking 6 languages (he learned 2 others as an adult), and to learn them all, his family would bring young au pairs skilled in these languages to live with the family and speak their native language to the children. Olia spoke French to Peter and his sister, and in turn she learned both German and English. They first met when Peter was 15 and Olia was 17.

Speaking 4 languages (French, Russian, German and English) came in very handy, as she was hired at the end of WWII as a document translator at the Nuremberg Trials working for the American Military.

 

She married Peter de Nesnera in 1948 in Paris.  Wanting a better life together and for their children, they applied for a Visa to the United States.  They had a five year wait but finally came to America in 1953 with their first child, son André in tow, eventually settling in New York City.

 

Son Alexander was born in 1957 and daughter Liz was born in 1964.

 

Olia lived with her family in New York City where she raised her children and worked first as an interpreter and then for many years as the Librarian at the French Embassy Trade Office (before the advent of computers!)  She spent summers and weekends with her family in Ulster County, NY.  Initially they lived in a Cabin with no indoor plumbing – she didn’t mind!

 

She suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke in 1994 which left her wheelchair bound.  She and Peter ultimately moved in with their daughter Liz and son-in-law Brian in Pompton Lakes, where she resided until her death.  While in Pompton Lakes Olia was cared for not only by her family, but also lovingly by her aide of thirteen years, Patricia Reynolds.

 

Some things that were never missing in Olia’s home: Icons in every room, a bottle of chilling Russian vodka in the freezer to celebrate special occasions and enough notepaper and cards to give Hallmark a run for its money!  She was an avid gardener and an enthusiastic letter writer.

Olia is survived by her brother Rostislaw Donn of Paris, France; son André  and his wife Ellen of Oak Hill, VA; son Alexander and his wife Susan of Concord, NH; daughter Liz and her husband Brian McCarthy of Pompton Lakes, NJ; her four grandchildren, Peter, Matthew, Timothy and Christopher; and a large and extended family all over the world.  She was pre-deceased by her parents Vsevolod and Anna Donn and her husband Peter.

 

She will be laid to rest next to her husband Peter de Nesnera MD at the Krumville Cemetery in Olive Bridge, New York.

 

Funeral services will be held Friday, July 30, 2010 at 11am at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne.  Friends may visit with the family at the funeral home on Thursday from 4- 8 PM.

 

Those planning an expression of sympathy in Olia’s memory are asked to consider in lieu of flowers, donations be made to: Saint Gregory the Theologian Orthodox Church, 1500 Route 376, Wappingers Falls, NY  12590-6147 or The National Family Caregivers Association, 10400 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 500, Kensington, MD  20895-3944, http://www.nfcacares.org/join_nfca/donation.cfm

 

Guest Book

7/26/2010

What a fascinating and adventures life. My deepest sympathies and many blessings.

Sandy Dempsey

7/26/2010

Liz, I know we have never met, but I also know that you have met Philip, so I offer you me personal condolences. You and your family are in my prayers and I will be thinking of you on Friday in particular. God Bless you and keep you, may He shine His face upon you. Anne Banks xxxx

Anne Banks

7/26/2010

Thinking of you all, us all-- our parents and their long friendship; visiting with you in Olive Bridge, Englewood and New York City; your mother was a part of our lives. She and I shared a common nameday, July 24. Until recently she would send me a card each year. This year as always I thought of her, and the following day my mother told me she had died. Please accept my deepest condolences. Love from Kinga

Kinga Koréh

7/26/2010

Dear Liz, Brian and Family...please accept my heartfelt sympathy on the passing of your Mother. Most Sincerely, Edythe (Barbara's Mom)

Edythe Edwards

7/26/2010

Dear Liz: I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your mother, Olia. What a lovely memorial to her, but no surprise, considering the devoted care with which you showered her during the last 15 years. Your Maman had an eventful life, but obviously one also enjoyed in the bosom of a beloved and loving family. We should all be so lucky. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your Maman, Liz. God bless you both! - Larry Culley

Larry Culley

7/26/2010

My condolences, Liz. I know you cared lots for you mother - Amy T. told me so....

Angel Fernandez

7/26/2010

Bien cher Rostislaw, Dans l'affliction qui touche votre famille, je suis en pensée de tout coeur avec vous. Affectueusement Marie-Claire

Marie-Claire Le Goff

7/26/2010

Vechnaia Pamiat

Ivan Cherkassof

7/26/2010

Liz and family - so sorry for your loss, yet what a full life she lead - fascinating bio. RIP Olia.

Roy Yokelson

7/26/2010

We send condolences to our dear frieds Andre and Ellen. Andre, your parents are together again and you will be with them in the fullness of time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Tony and Belinda

Tony and Belinda Collins

7/26/2010

Your family is in my prayers. May your Mom rest in peace, and may you find comfort in the loving care you gave her over the years. Blessing to you.

Mary Serra

7/26/2010

We send our condolences to our extended family Liz and Brian, Alex and Sue, Andre and Ellen... your parents were good friends with our parents and the good times will always be remembered... Our prayers are with you Lots of love the Mccarthy Clan, Lynn, Will, Kevin, Cindy and Maryann

Maryann and Stretch Collins

7/26/2010

Liz, I hope you can find comfort in the fact that your mother had an amazing life, and that you helped her live with dignity until her passing. My condolences to and your family.

Haneen Arafat

7/26/2010

Liz, Andre and Family: your mother will be with you always. Our thoughts are with you as you celebrate her life and mourn her passing. CC Petersen

CC Petersen

7/26/2010

Liz, what an amazing tribute to a long wonderful life! Maman would be honored. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Aggie Tkac

7/27/2010

Liz to you and your brothers, She will stay in my mind and my prayers, she was a part of our past in good old times of Europe. Blessing to all of you Tante Marie-Louise

Marie-Louise Thuronyi

7/27/2010

Liz what a beautiful picture of your mom!! She was stunning, I am so sorry for your loss, you are in my prayers, what a wonderful job of caregiving you did! Blessings and joy to you and your family, xoxo

linda jones

7/27/2010

Liz what a beautiful picture of your mom!! She was stunning, I am so sorry for your loss, you are in my prayers, what a wonderful job of caregiving you did! Blessings and joy to you and your family, xoxo

linda jones

7/27/2010

Liz- What a beautiful tribute. Although your Mother may be gone, your memories of her will last forever!

Lori Mattheiss (Receptive Audio)

7/27/2010

Liz, we hope your wonderful memories of your mom carry you and your family through the feeling of loss. She seemed like an extraordinary woman who were are all lucky to have known through you. Lots of love from both of us!

Dan & Mandy Nelson

7/27/2010

Dear Liz, my sincere condolences on the passing of your mother Olia. She seems to have had an amazing and eventful life. Cherish the memories! Bernard Schaer

Bernard Schaer

7/27/2010

Dear Liz, my sincere condolences on the passing of your mother Olia. She seems to have had an amazing and eventful life. Cherish the memories! Bernard Schaer

Bernard Schaer

7/27/2010

Thinking of you, Alex, Susan & Chris, and your family. I wish you peace as you honor the life of a clearly remarkable woman.

Debbie Robinson

7/27/2010

Liz, Brian and family, Prayers for peace for you and your Maman. I am so glad I had a chance to meet her. What an amazing woman- and how wonderfully you took care of her. She would be most proud of her daughter. She was and we are blessed to have you in our lives. Much love, moe

Moe Egan

7/27/2010

Alex; Please accept our sincere condolences. Your mother has lived a full life with many interesting adventures. We mourn with you and your family. And, we join you in the celebration of a truly amazing individual, your mother.

David and Diane Folks

7/27/2010

We have been reminiscing about the special times our families shared. Through all that Tante Olia experienced she had such a beautiful spirit. She was so proud of all of you. Liz, you and Brian, have done so much to give Tante Olia a peaceful life. Our heartfelt condolences to you, your uncle, Andre, Sandro and their wonderful families.

Mary, Nick, Adriane and Paressa

7/27/2010

We never really met but You were part of my life thru the eye's of my mom and sister who enjoyed your tales of growing up and the people you knew,You will be missed by all and kept alive through memories.

Bill Holzschuh

7/27/2010

Dear LIZ, Olia had a profound affect on my life. I loved her very much. She will always be in my heart. I have fond memories of all the walks with her in search of her roses and the life she shared with me. I will miss her. Love, Patti

patti Reynolds

7/28/2010

Liz, I am so sorry to learn about your mother's passing. She was obviously a courageous and talented linguist, and you must feel proud to share those traits with her. I lost my mother last year and my dad in 2003, so I can empathize with your feelings. I am sending healing energy to you and your family at this difficult time.

Karen Commins

7/28/2010

Dr. de Nesnera and family, I'm sorry to hear of your family's loss. Your mother was a beautiful woman who appeared to have lived a full and rewarding life!

Susan Searah

7/28/2010

Dear Liz --You are richly blessed with your mother's fascinating life story, enriched by the customs and multi-lingual upbringing she gave you, her loving memories. I have the utmost admiration of the selfless devotion and tireless care you gave to her throughout a very trying time. Peace and Love, Diane

Diane Havens

7/28/2010

Alex- My deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother. What a fascinating, rich and rewarding life she led! You are in my prayers. Sincerely, Becky A.

Rebecca Andrew

7/28/2010

Liz, I'm so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Please know my thoughts are with you.

Beth Floch

7/28/2010

Your mom had an incredible life. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your whole family. God bless,

Roxanne Coyne

7/28/2010

My prayers are with you and your family at this time. Olia left a beautiful mark on each of our hearts at Wayne ADS. She was an angel before and I am sure has taken her place as an angel now. Your Dad is smiling down. God bless them both.

Hazel Whitty

7/29/2010

Chère Toussik: merci pour ton message laissé sur mon portable hier soir (heure française). Jouvette m'avait annoncé dans l'après midi, au bureau, la nouvelle de la disparition de ta maman. Que de choses à te dire à ce sujet!!!! Toutes mes pensées sont avec toi, tes frères et Brian. Ta maman a eu une vie exceptionnelle (un euphémisme), pétrie d'histoire, et d'événements extraordinaires. Ses 16 dernières années n'ont pas été à la mesure de sa vie. Quant à toi, ton dévouement et ton amour pour ta mère ont été incroyables. Je ne connais PERSONNE qui aurait fait ce que toi et Brian avez fait pour elle. Tu es triste mais console toi en pensant que ta maman a eu une très longue vie, même si ses 16 dernières années ont été douloureuses pour elle et pour toi, à tous égards. Et sois fière et contente d'avoir fait pour elle ce que personne d'autre n'aurait fait. Je t'embrasse très fort. Béatrice

Beatrice Merat

7/29/2010

What an amazing life story. My thoughts are with you Liz, and of course with the rest of your family and loved ones. All my love as ever xx

Elisa Canas

7/29/2010

Chers vous trois, Toussik, André, Sandro, et vos familles, et Rostik, je vous embrasse très fort et serai en pensée avec vous demain. Vous savez l'importance qu'avait, et qu'aura toujours, Olia pour moi. Ma fille Perrine me disait hier quand je lui ai appris la nouvelle, que j'avais de la chance d'avoir eu une telle marraine. Pierre et Olia ont été un modèle très important pour moi de courage, d'amour et d'intelligence. Je suis fière d'eux et heureuse qu'ils se soient maintenant retrouvés. Love, Christine

Christine Vermont

7/29/2010

Dear Dr. de Nesnera and family, Please accept my heartfelt sympathy in the loss of your mother. It was an interesting time to live and an adventurous woman who lived it. Sincerely, Beverly Bean

Beverly Bean

7/29/2010

Alex -- We have so enjoyed hearing the stories of your family. Please know that our prayers are with you and your family during this time; you have our deepest sympathy. May you know the joy, too, of a life and legacy so rich and worthy of celebration.

Steve and Anne Cauble

7/29/2010

Olia was a charming wonderful woman She was so proud of her family and loved to share her stories of her life and work. She is now with her beloved husband and the angels.

Mary Pavlak Bernowich

7/29/2010

Alex - my heartfelt condolences to your family. What an amazing life your mother led.

Andy Horrigan

7/30/2010

All of us in the Health Information Department are thinking of you and your family. Many thoughts and prayers are with you. Loving memories we are sure you have. Deepest condolences. Your Health Information Department girls.

Darlene St.Laurent

7/30/2010

Dear Alex,Susan,Chris and the rest of the deNesnera family, May time heal your broken hearts and your memories bring you joy. So sorry to hear if your loss.

Andrea Goldberg

7/30/2010

Alex, May you find peace in your wonderful memories of your mother. What a remarkable woman! May her memory be eternal.

Wendy Martin

8/3/2010

Dear Alex, Susan, and Chris, Hopefully you will find comfort in knowing that your family is being held in the hearts and prayers of so many of us as you deal with the loss of Alex's mother. Becky Neal

Becky Neal

8/4/2010

My deepest sympathy Alex, Susan, Chris and family. May your loving memories be a source of comfort as you celebrate your remarkable Mother's life. My thoughts and prayers are with you! God Bless you always and in all ways!

Diane Viger


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