Olga Paros Edquist fell asleep in the Lord on December 24, 2023 at 12:24pm in Yorkville, WI. Her passing was peaceful, at home surrounded by her beloved family singing the comforting hymns of her Greek Orthodox faith.
Olga is survived and celebrated by her dearest husband David, her children Carl (Kyriaki), Sarah (Jason), John (Erica), and Melika (Nathan), as well as her pride and joy: her grandchildren Eleni, Aurora, Maria, David Anders, Henry, Xenia, Micah, and David John. She is loved by her mother Mellani, brothers Nick and Dean, and many more siblings-in-love, cousins, nieces, and nephews grateful to be her family.
Olga was born in Katerini, Greece, in 1956 and lived a most remarkable life. She immigrated to the United States at age seven and quickly taught herself and her family English well enough to help her father pass his citizenship exam. She loved to learn, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Sociology from UW-Madison and a graduate degree in Educational Psychology from UW-Milwaukee. Ever curious, Olga was a lifelong self-learner of many passions, often centering around her love of nature. She was also a beloved teacher, in Whitnall School District, at her home parishes’ Sunday schools, at her kitchen table, and out in her fields.
She was a kind, generous, thoughtful friend who embodied her cultural value of philoxenia, the loving welcoming of strangers. You could find her in her gardens, joyfully tending this year’s harvest to cook for anyone who might drop by. She knew just what you needed, just when you needed it, and gave it unconditionally. Whether guiding someone through troubled times, or simply feeding a hungry baby, she found joy in gifting the bounty of her labor. In her heart, all her work was intended for others. Olga was a true original, delightful and easily delighted. She will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
Olga bravely and defiantly endured a malignant cancer that outpaced both diagnosis and treatment. Her strength to fight came from her reverence for, and delight in, the beautiful life God gave her. As she returned home in her final, blessed days, she was embraced by her adoring family. The fullness of her good works in life were on display in the warm glow of the Christmas tree lights, in her “room with a view” she and David designed to enjoy their earthly corner of paradise.
She is welcomed into heaven at a time of celebration for Christ’s birth, where she joins her father John, her sister Eleni, her parents-in-love Rita and Carl, many other family members and those she befriended to feel like family in life. Her memory will be eternal.
Funeral services and a luncheon were held on December 26th at her home parish, Kimissis tis Theotokou Greek Orthodox Church in Racine, WI. This church first welcomed the Paros family to the United States and was the setting of several important sacraments for the family, most notably David and Olga’s wedding.
Despite the sudden nature of her passing and the short notice over the Christmas holiday, the commemoration of Olga’s life was widely attended. A line of family, friends and community that came to honor her stretched out the door and left standing room only for her service, and nearly one thousand people watched the video stream. This outpouring of love has meant a great deal to her mother, husband and children.
Olga’s family is gratified to know that she touched the lives of many, many people. They earnestly invite those with a fond memory or photo to share it with them at SaintYiayiaOlga@gmail.com.