Olga Zabrodsky Ovenhouse was born September 24, 1936, in Lansing, Michigan, and passed away April 3, 2019, at the age of 82. She graduated from Lansing Eastern High School in 1954, and went on to attend Michigan State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social science (history) in 1958, followed by a master’s degree in secondary education in 1962. Olga married Robert (Bob) Ovenhouse on August 19, 1960. Soon after, she began a teaching career with the Lansing School District, which spanned more than 30 years. She started at C.W. Otto Junior High School, but spent most of her career teaching English and Russian at Lansing Eastern. Through her dedication to education and devotion to her students, Olga had an impact on countless lives. She touched the lives of those in her personal life, as well. A child of immigrant parents from Ukraine, Olga was especially sensitive to the unique challenges facing immigrants and refugees, and tried to assist those whom she met in any way she could. She developed special bonds with many in the local Armenian community, as well as families from Vietnam. She was also an active member of Interracial Fellowship, and served as its treasurer for several years. Olga was an avid reader, and she enjoyed listening to NPR, watching PBS, supporting charitable organizations, traveling, playing polkas on her accordion, playing cards, and solving jumble puzzles. She had a great love for animals, especially cats and dogs, and loved eating ice cream. Olga will best be remembered for her kind heart and giving spirit.
Olga was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; parents, Theodore and Anastazia Zabrodsky; brother, Jerry Zabrodsky; and sisters, Sonja Bolley and Elizabeth Blake. She is survived by her daughter, Sheila Ovenhouse; brother, Very Rev. Fr. Boris Zabrodsky; three honorary children: Judy Alexander, Doan (Joseph Tran) Nguyen, and Huy (Tina) Tran; six honorary grandchildren: Isabelle and Nathan Tran; and Alina, Aiden, Aaron (deceased), and Nathan Tran; as well as many nieces, nephews, other extended family, and dear friends.
Special thanks to the staff at Hospice House of Mid-Michigan, for the compassionate care and support they provided.
Keeping with Olga’s wishes, there will be no service. Memorial contributions may be made to Capital Area Humane Society, 7095 West Grand River Avenue, Lansing, MI 48906, or Hospice House of Mid-Michigan, 1210 West Saginaw Highway, Lansing, MI 48915. Arrangements are by the Estes-Leadley Greater Lansing Chapel.