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Olga Clahassey, age 97, passed way on Friday, May 6, 2016 at Covenant Village in Grand Rapids. Olga graduated from Cass Tech High School at age 16, and from Deaconess Hospital Nursing School in Detroit.

She worked as a surgical nurse at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor where she met her husband of 65 years, Erwin Clahassey, M.D. They were married in San Diego in 1944 while Erwin was serving in the Navy. After residing briefl­y in Chicago, IL and then Madison, WI, the couple and their growing family moved to Grand Rapids in 1953.

They raised six children, Ernie, Kay, Karen, Diane, Dave, and Don Clahassey. Olga has seven grandchildren, Brandon, Kayla, Curtis, Lynn, and Bryan Clahassey, Claire Cameron, and Thomas Coffey; and one great-grandchild, Helena.

Raised in a Russian Orthodox church where her father was a deacon and choir director, Olga grew up with, and always loved, Russian church music and she loved to sing. She had a beautiful, strong, clear voice. Family was the most important thing to Olga. She was a great mom, always encouraging and supporting her kids, and she presided over many warm and raucous family gatherings over the years. She was the heart of the family and truly a force of nature. She was kind, generous and she had the uncommon ability to strike up a conversation with absolutely anyone. She had good common sense, which she was always willing to share. Olga was active for many years in the Blodgett Hospital Bissell Guild, volunteering as cashier at the coffee shop. She was also active in the St. Mary’s Library Guild, and the Kent County Medical Auxiliary.

Olga is preceded in death by her husband, Erwin; and brothers, Anthony and Alexander. Surviving are her children; grandchildren; and great-grandchild, all of whom loved her dearly.

Memorial services are at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11th, at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes, 2510 Lake Michigan Drive N.W., Grand Rapids. The family would also like to thank all the good people at Covenant Village for the exceptional care they gave Mom during her time there.

Honoring her wishes, cremation will take place. Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids.


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2 Condolences

  1. Deborah Koster on May 10, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    She was a wonderful lady who loved her children and grandchildren to the moon and back. She will be missed

  2. Bev Sutter on May 11, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Dave I know you will miss your mom, as we all miss our mom’s that go on before us, but we can rejoice with her as she is at peace now in Heaven.
    Brandon , she was a great wonderful woman. Rejoice that she has no more pain or suffering.

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