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Olga Lorraine Zachar Walek Ph.D.

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Olga Lorraine Zachar Walek Ph.D. Obituary
OLGA LORRAINE ZACHAR WALEK PH.D. Saddened at the loss of our beloved mother, we now want to gather and celebrate the remarkable achievements, accomplishments and our mother's undeniable passion for a life well lived. Olga Lorraine Zachar Walek, Ph.D. of Rialto California lived a full life and passed away on Friday, December 23, 2016, she was 92 years old. Born in Lyndora, Pennsylvania, Olga was the fifth of twelve children of Peter Zachar and Fenna Bazar, originally of Sanok, Austria. Olga was predeceased by her husband of fifty years, Major Michael A. Walek. USAF, Ret. on October 2, 1995. Major Walek was a fellow Alumni of the University of Pittsburgh. Olga and Michael raised five children during their fifty-year love affair: Michael, Mark, Brian, Perry and Lorna, and were blessed with seven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. Dr. Walek went on to accomplish much for being the daughter of immigrants who came through Ellis Island. She graduated as Valedictorian from Butler High School, located in Pennsylvania and was granted a full medical school scholarship to the University of Pittsburgh in 1942. This feat was an outstanding accomplishment in its time and a testament to her scholastic achievements. This was the beginning of what would be a lifetime of achievements for Dr. Walek. Thereafter, she went on to further continue her education, obtaining degrees from Loma Linda Medical School, UCLA and UCR. Dr. Walek served her country and the United States War efforts during World War II as a Nurse Cadet. It was during this time that she met and then married then returning POW Maj. Michael A. Walek. Once married to Maj. Michael Walek, Dr. Walek became an officer's wife and followed her husband's military career for the next twenty years in the service of our country; moving every few years from one military post to another. After twenty years as a military officer's wife and having raised five children, Dr. Walek returned back to the University to pursue her lifelong love of learning and to obtain even more advanced degrees, including her Ph.D. Dr. Walek taught nursing at many colleges and Universities during her life time. She was the Dean of the Department of Nursing at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, Riverside City College, California State University San Bernardino, and Valley Collage. She was even invited to Guest Lecture at the University of Moscow during Soviet rule. Dr. Walek enjoyed traveling, often talking her trips with her family to places such as London, Venice, Florence, Paris, Rome, New York, Moscow, Kiev, Helsinki, and many other locations. She loved to read and reading was her passion until the very end of her life; sitting and reading transported her to places she could never travel to while she was a small girl living in Pennsylvania. It was through her love of reading her books that the daughter of Austrian immigrants realized anything was possible. We miss our beloved mother and can only take comfort in the firm belief that she lived her life by her terms and was able to achieve fifty years ago what many women cannot accomplish today. Services for Olga Lorraine Zachar Walek Ph.D. will be held at 12 noon on Friday, January 13, 2017, at Bobbitt Memorial Chapel, 1299 East Highland Ave., San Bernardino, CA. Interment to follow at 2:00 p.m. at Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA.

Published in Press-Enterprise on Jan. 8, 2017
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