Eleanore Olatta

Eleanore Olatta

Thursday, September 27th, 1928 Tuesday, April 21st, 2020

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Obituary for Eleanore Louise Olatta (Merhar)

Eleanore Olatta, 91, passed away in Wall Twp, on April 21, 2020, from the coronavirus, after suffering from Alzheimer’s for a number of years.
Eleanore was born on September 27, 1928, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Joseph and Louise Merhar. Her parents predeceased her, as well as her sisters Josephine, Carolyn, and Albina, and her brother Albert. Eleanore married John P. Olatta in August, 1950; and is survived by her husband and her daughters MaryEllen (Jim Williamson), Amy Dixon, and her beloved granddaughters Elise and Kara Dixon. Her daughter Barbara (Sue Stager) passed away in 2017.
While raising her girls, Eleanore went back to work and to school. Her love of children’s literature became the foundation for her bachelor’s degree and then a Masters in Library Science. She was very proud of her 30-year career in the Hanover Twp, and Parsippany NJ public schools, leading the effort to bring the schools’ libraries into the technological age by digitizing the card catalogs, and transforming the library into a modern media center.
John and Eleanore enjoyed their second home in Wellfleet, Cape Cod for many years, walking the dunes and collecting antiques and evocative works from local artists and craftspeople. An inveterate walker, Eleanore spent many happy hours “walking the boards” between Spring Lake and Ocean Grove. In mid-life they took up cross-country skiing, and loved their winter holidays in Altenmarkt, Austria.
Eleanore was an avid NY Times crossword puzzler, a stickler for grammar, a crafter of holiday pine cone wreaths, and a fine cook, seamstress and knitter. She loved Andy Williams, classical music, and hated losing at cards and board games.
There will be no services at this time. Please honor Eleanore’s memory by reading to children, to grandchildren and great-grandchildren, or by supporting Reading is Fundamental. And whenever you wonder about something, remember to “look it up!”
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the O’Brien Funeral Home, Wall Twp.
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Judy Steinberg

My sincere condolences to Eleanore's family. I worked with her for many years at Brooklawn Middle School and found her to be a most intelligent and dedicated educator. I know that she will be missed by those who knew and loved her.
Comment | Posted at 01:26pm via Condolence

Anne Occi

I see so much of you in her picture - must be the smile. Reading about her life, I can see her walking on those boards. May your memories of her talents and convictions bring a smile to your face as time passes. May you reminded of her in the falling of a pine cone, or the finishing of a difficult crossword puzzle. Moms are forever with us...
Comment | Posted at 12:32pm via Condolence

Kathy Fitzsimmons

I didn't know your mother, wife, grandmother, but after reading her obituary I wanted to write a message of condolence. As a teacher, I love hearing about others who love education as well. She sounds like she was a lot of fun (unless you beat her at a board game).
It is impressive that she and John were married 70 years!
My mom, were she still alive, is only a few months older than your mom. She too loved education.
I like the look it up phrase - now I have google to make it faster, but looking it up and learning something is important.
I am sorry that Eleanore had to suffer from Alzheimer's and Coronavirus. I am sure this has been a difficult journey for all of you.
As I am the second person who wrote without knowing any of you - it must be Eleanore sending you all a message that she won't be forgotten.
May she rest in peace.
Comment | Posted at 10:32am via Condolence

Helen Leba

I didn't know your mother, however, her obituary reminded me so much of my own mother, who passed away 9 years ago and would have been close to your mom's age had she lived. The crossword puzzles, advice to "look it up", the grammar, music and cooking. Please accept my condolences for your loss.
Comment | Posted at 09:13am via Condolence

Sue Saggese

I worked with Eleanore years ago at Brooklawn Middle School in Parsippany. She ran her library like a tight ship! She was extremely knowlegable about everything and was always willing to share her thoughts/ideas. She was such a smart lady, ready to tackle any new technique that came into our teaching experience. May she rest in peace.
Comment | Posted at 08:52am via Condolence

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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