Olga C. Leone , 92, passed away peacefully on Nov. 7, 2016. Olga was born Aug. 27, 1924 to John and Stephanie Cielnicky in New York, NY. Growing up in a Czech neighborhood of Manhattan, her school day did not end with the public school bell. She went on to a Czech school where she learned to read and write in her parents' native language. Summers were spent on the Hudson River. During the Depression, admission to the museums of NYC was free and she frequented them. She graduated from Julia Richman High School in 1941 and Fredonia State Teachers College in 1947.
Olga married Anthony J. Leone on June 27, 1948. They moved to beautiful Northport, Long Island. Tony was the principal of Washington Drive Elementary School. Olga taught fourth grade at Ocean Avenue until starting a family in 1952. That was also the year she learned to paint with watercolors, which led to a vocation as artist and art teacher. She also wrote for local papers throughout her adult life. She was active with the PTA. Summers were spent at the beach, or touring the country's national parks with Tony and the children.
After being widowed altogether too early, Olga began another phase of her life in the artist colony of Tubac, Arizona. She had her own gallery, was active with Tubac Center for the Arts and Hilltop Gallery, and was a volunteer art teacher for Sacred Heart Elementary School in Nogales. She edited the Tubac Tortilla, taught memoir writing for Elderhostel and authored two books of her own memoirs. Summers were spent escaping the heat, touring the country, solo, to visit relatives and friends.
Olga was preceded in death by her husband Tony (1975), brother Larry Cielnicky and cousin Helen Forman. She is survived by her brother, Robert Cielnicky (Beverly), daughter Nancy Leone, son James Leone (Karen), and daughter Marjorie Leone (Brian Miller).
Per her request, there will be no funeral. Mass for Olga at Our Lady of the Valley in Green Valley is at 4 p.m. on Nov. 26 and 11 a.m. on Nov. 27. The family would like to thank all caregivers who gave her comfort and help in her final years.
Published in Green Valley News & Sun on Nov. 13, 2016