Olga Gillespie of Rahway, NJ, passed peacefully on March 12 after a full and happy 93 years.
Olga grew up in Linden, NJ, and graduated from Linden High School. She married Art Gillespie of Elizabeth, NJ, and they settled in Rahway to raise a family. While they often made for an interesting pair, they were married for over 50 years and had two children. Together they shared many good times with friends at Army Reunions for the 66th Panther Division across the country, along with memorable trips to Atlantic City, Saranac Lake, and Korea. She worked for many years in the billing department at Rahway Hospital and kept many close friends there long after her retirement.
Some of her favorite activities at various points of her life included reading, tennis, tai chi, garage sales, and sewing. Countless babies grew up using her handmade burpers. Friends, acquaintances, and even strangers frequently recognized her giving, caring, and generous nature. She always tried to lend a helping hand to others, even when it wasn’t necessary, appreciated, or even understood. She also showed her toughness as a two-time cancer survivor and was a true example of courage in the face of adversity.
She enjoyed playing games, especially Scrabble. Her competitive spirit and drive to win games was passed down to her children and grandchildren, and she was a challenging opponent into her 90s. She looked forward each year to making pierogis with her family using her mother’s recipe and will be thought of fondly as this tradition continues.
Olga proudly marched to the beat of her own drum and will always be remembered for her zany nature and wit. Although she could show her love, humor, and thoughtfulness in unique ways, she was always proudest of her family. She softened with age and in her latest years truly loved being a great-grandmother. Her family loved her in return and will miss her dearly, but will always smile remembering the fun times, memories, and laughs they shared together.
She was predeceased by her husband Art, her parents, Michael and Helen Micenko, and her siblings Michael Micenko, Nancy Micenko, and Helen Kaplun. She is survived by her children, Kevin Gillespie (Nancy) of Edison, NJ, and Deborah (Peter) Prakapas of Rahway, NJ; grandchildren Ryan, Kimberly, Kelly, Carly, and Casey; and great-granddaughter Kaylee. Private interment will occur on March 26, with a memorial service to be held at a later date.
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