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OLLIE McNAMARA

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OLLIE McNAMARA Obituary
McNAMARA, OLLIE Ollie McNamara, 84, of La Jolla, California, passed away peacefully on Monday, November 12, 2012, in her home surrounded by loved ones. She was born in Auburn, N.Y. to Ukrainian immigrants Katarzyna and Wasyl Myslichuk. Olga, as she was known in her youth, attended East High school in Auburn where she excelled scholastically and in sports. She graduated from Cornell University in 1950 with a degree in Human Ecology. Upon graduation, she moved to New York City and started her fashion career with Bonwit Teller and progressed to DePinna as a buyer and ultimately to Saks Fifth Avenue where she stayed for approximately 12 years. She designed the Safinia collection at SFA, which was featured in the December 1958 issue of Glamour magazine. During this period she legally changed her name to "Ollie Myles", and was known as "Miss Ollie", a name that would affectionately persist throughout her life. She moved to Phoenix, Arizona when she married Gerry McNamara. One of their accomplishments while working together at Saks Fifth Avenue in Phoenix was generating national excitement for Southwestern Native American jewelry as high fashion. Later they established their own elegant boutique, Capriccio, at the Borgata in Scottsdale, AZ, at Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix, and in La Jolla, CA. Ollie was listed as one of the "Phoenix 25" in the 25th anniversary edition of Phoenix magazine in 1991, and her charity fashion shows in Arizona and California were eagerly attended. Ollie brought style, class, and fun to everything she touched. She was a leader in women's fashion, and truly believed that a well dressed woman was a woman empowered to achieve her dreams with confidence. Following her retirement in 1998, Ollie wrote and published her memoirs titled "Fashion Diva" which she dedicated to her two children who survive her, Cindy Wright-Jones of LaPorte, Colorado and James McNamara of San Francisco, California. She is also survived by her soul mate of 25 years, Peter Kruidenier, two sisters, Anne Panson of Wappinger's Falls, N.Y. and Helen Pasternak of Estero, Florida along with six nieces, two nephews and many loving extended family and friends. A funeral mass will be held for Ollie at All Hallows Catholic church in La Jolla, CA, Wednesday, December 12th, at 10:30. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to San Diego Hospice, 4311 3rd Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103, www. sandiegohospice.org; or the Parkinson's disease research program at Scripps Health Foundation, PO Box 2669, La Jolla, CA 92038, www.scripps.org.

Published in U-T San Diego on Dec. 5, 2012
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