Olga Lavallee, née Klem
1921 - 2013
Died peacefully at the Jewish General Hospital on Jan. 15. Beloved mother of Carol (Clair Callaghan) and Anne (Brian Wilcock); devoted wife of the late Eric Lavallee (died 1995). Born in North Vancouver, she met Eric in London, England, during the Second World War, when both were serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force. While in London, she also also volunteered with the "Guinea Pigs,” air force crew who underwent innovative reconstructive plastic surgery for severe burn injuries. After the war, she relocated in Montreal with Eric to start a family.
Olga was a much-loved, unassuming Renaissance woman who always found opportunities to contribute to the betterment of her world. She loved gardening, nature, animals, and her summer home for many years in St. Donat, Que. She also loved people, and appreciated the best in everyone she knew.
She highly valued education and literacy (she and her sister Mary taught their parents English), and she and Eric instilled these values in their daughters. In 1989 at the age of 68, she graduated from Concordia University with a bachelor of fine arts degree. She particularly enjoyed her theatre arts courses, and appeared as “extras” in many films shot in Montreal, such as the Canadian Heritage series, until she was 85 years old.
Olga supported many charities, including World Vision, Dans La Rue, Canadian Wildlife Association, the Canadian SPCA and the Farley Foundation, which subsidizes the cost of veterinary care for low-income pet owners. She was also an active volunteer. She helped start up Meals on Wheels in her St. Laurent community, and gave her time and efforts to many other causes. She was a dedicated member of Our Lady of Fatima Parish for decades and helped organize many parish events. Olga received wonderful care at the Jewish General Hospital and she would want to support their excellent work through donations to the hospital. She bids a fond farewell to her many friends among the staff and residents of Place St.-Moritz in St. Laurent.A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady Fatima Church, 875 Marcel Laurin, St. Laurent, Quebec, on Saturday, January 19 at 10 a.m.