Olga (Shymansky) Dragon passed away peacefully in her sleep at Fairview Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Great Barrington, MA, on September 26, 2011. She was 91. She was predeceased by her husband of over 60 years, John W. Dragon, who died in 2001.
Born in Auburn, NY, she is the daughter of the late Rev. Bishop Peter, the Rev. Fr. Walter Shymansky; and his wife, the late Emily (Kaminsky) Shymansky. Her childhood was spent in many states, including NY, NJ, PA, MI, and IL, where her father served as a parish priest in Russian Orthodox churches before being elevated to bishop. She is the granddaughter of the late Rev. Fr. Dimitri Kaminsky and the late Mary Kaminsky. She graduated from Olyphant High School, Olyphant, PA, where she later married her high school sweetheart, John.She and John raised their daughters in Schenectady, NY; where she was employed for many years in the City Clerk’s Office. She is a Past Matron (1956) of the Order of the Eastern Star of the State of New York, Schenectady Chapter 641, where her husband John, himself a 50-year member of St. George’s Masonic Lodge, served alongside of her as Patron. She was a member for many years of St. Basil’s Russian Orthodox Church, Watervliet, NY, where she was active in the women’s sisterhood and played in the Balalaika Orchestra. She was also a member of St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church, Schenectady, NY. She also served as chairperson of the Tri-City chapter of St. Vladimir’s Theological Foundation, Crestwood, NY. She and John lived their retirement years in Burlington, VT.
Olga had a sense of adventure and enjoyed traveling to many countries and many times visited friends and Russian communities affiliated with Russian Orthodox churches. She instilled in her daughters and grandchildren a love of education and a pursuit of their dreams. She was an avid gardener and enjoyed ceramics and music and played the piano. She was a dedicated baker of Russian dishes.
She is survived by two daughters, Donna Emily Moyer and her husband Roger of Stockbridge, MA, and Arlene Olga DeWitt and her husband Richard of Westborough, MA, and three grandchildren. She is also survived by three brothers: Walter Shymansky and his wife Mary of Cohoes, NY; Raymond Shymansky and his late wife Johanna of Canton, OH; and Russell Shymansky and his wife Elsie of Brewster, NY. She is also predeceased by sister, Sonia Russen and her late husband William Russen formerly of Blakely, PA.
The family wishes to thank the caretakers at Fairview Commons for their kindness and service to Olga.
Funeral services will be held at St. Basil’s Russian Orthodox Church, Watervliet, NY, on Monday, October 3rd at 11:00 am . Interment will follow in the church cemetery. There will be no public calling hours. Parker Brothers Memorial Funeral Home, Watervliet, is in charge of arrangements. Memorial donations may be made to the church building project at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, 76 Wahconah St., Pittsfield, MA.