It is with great sadness, we announce that Joan "Kristina" Olitski née Fourgis, 83, died at her home in Islamorada, Florida on Friday October 2, 2020. Her daughter was with her when she passed.
Kristina was born on September 17, 1937, in Mount Pleasant, Pennsylvania. She was the daughter of Christ and Helen Fourgis, née Gorlis.
Kristina learned to sew from her mother at a young age. She was incredibly gifted and moved to New York City to pursue her dream of designing and making clothing. She married artist Gregory Gorby with whom she was blessed with two children, Alex and Natasha. In the 60's, she opened a clothing store in the East Village and formed the renowned clothing line, Kristina Gorby Apparel. A highlight of her career as a clothing designer was a series of looks for Janis Joplin, some of which she wore when performing at Woodstock in 1969.
In 1975 Kristina met the artist, Jules Olitski, and they married in 1980. They shared a beautiful and loving life together until Jules' passing in 2007; Jules called her his one true love. Over their 32 years together they continued to inspire each other creatively. After closing her dress company, Kristina continued to make clothes and quilts for her family and friends, often sending to quilts to complete strangers if she'd learned of an illness or a loss. Over the years she gifted her extraordinarily beautiful and unique quilts to just about everyone she ever met.
Kristina was a loving and dedicated wife, mother and grandmother. She is predeceased by her son, Alexander Gorby and her husband, Jules Olitski. The family is devastated by the loss of their matriarch, a strong, intelligent, compassionate woman whose presence and guidance will be greatly missed.
Kristina is survived by her loving daughter, Natasha Gorby Cebek, her grandchildren Chloe Cebek, Daphne Cebek Aitken, Ian Cebek, her great-grandchildren, Zoe and Cooper Smoke; Jules' daughter, Lauren Poster, grandchildren, Ariel Poster, Harry Poster; her brother George Fourgis, her sister Mary Dombalis née Fourgis, her nephews Chris Dombalis, Nick Dombalis, and Chris Fourgis.
A Graveside service will take place at the Brattleboro Jewish Community Cemetery in Brattleboro, Vermont on Friday, October 9th, at 3 pm.
In lieu of flowers donations may be sent to Boston Children's Hospital, 401 Park Drive, Suite 602, Boston, MA 02215. ATTN: Gift Services
Ker Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium assisted the family with arrangements. To view an online memorial, leave a message of condolence, or for more information please go to www.phaneuf.net