Tamara Nikitina COLANGELO

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COLANGELO, Tamara Nikitina one of three sisters and one brother, born to Vasily and Alableva Pilangeva Nikitin in Voroshilovgrad (Lugansk), Ukraine, Russia on Dec. 24, 1918, passed away on Feb. 14, 2014 at the Suncoast Hospice Center in Pinellas Park from congestive heart failure at the age of 95. She is survived by her only child, her loving son, Vladislav F. Colangelo, and his wife of 34 years, Janice Gallinghouse Colangelo and a niece with her children. In 1942, during WWII in the Ukraine, the occupying Italian army assigned Tamara and her sister, Valentina, to hospital duty in Murano, Italy, where they would nurse Italian war casualties. They were put on board a train bound for Italy. After a year of working in hospitals in Murano, they were transferred to Rome where they tended to hospitalized wounded German soldiers. During the German occupation of Rome of the early 1940's, Tamara and her sister, both having studied German in high school and scrambling now to learn Italian, concealed their Russian background, by pretending to be displaced Italian nurses until the Allied and US Army liberation of 1945. With Rome's liberation, Tamara married, Franz Colangelo, an Italian, but born in Russia; and in 1945 gave birth to their son, Vladislav, in war-torn Rome. Also at this time, her sister, Valentina, married the then-popular American actor, Frank Latimore (Kline). Until Tamara's departure for the United States in 1950 aboard the vessel, USNS General Harry Taylor, Tamara studied and performed at the world famous Music Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome as an upcoming operatic mezzo-soprano singer, having, by then, given up nursing to being a homemaker, mother and singer. Tamara and her son came to live in New York City, NY in 1950 and they became US citizens in 1956. During the early 1950's, she continued her singing aspirations as a chorus singer, traveling the US with a touring company and steadfastly learning the English language. And by the mid-1950's, foregoing her singing career, she undertook formal study in NYC to become a licensed practical nurse, and later, upon earning her bachelor's degree, Tamara became a registered nurse. She worked full-time as an RN at St. Luke's Hospital in NYC for 30 years before retiring in 1983, at age 65, and taking residence at Town Shores, in Gulfport. In retirement, she made many friends and enjoyed her hobbies of open-water swimming, yoga, and discussions of current events and social issues. She especially loved assisting local Russians to bond with the host culture of the Gulfport/St. Petersburg area. Tamara always loved the United States and strove to be an epitome of Americanism and example for all her Russian friends to follow. To this end, she has convincingly succeeded. On this day of spiritual and mortal passage to immortality, she leaves with gratefulness to the Gulfport community's warmth through her simple, humble smile on her lovely face saying, "Thank you and farewell." Always first a nurse, she remains a forever-member of the American Nursing Association. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to support the Suncoast Hospice. Memorial service will be Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014 at 11 am at: R. Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home. www.rlwilliams.com R. Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home, 49th St. N. 727-527-1177
Funeral Home
R. Lee Williams & Son Funeral Home, Inc.
3530-49th St. No. St. Petersburg, FL 33710
(727) 527-1177
Funeral Home Details
Published in the Tampa Bay Times on Feb. 17, 2014