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Olympia's Story

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WOODSTOCK - Olympia R. (Russo) Burns, formerly of Oneonta, passed away surrounded by family, in Woodstock, on Wednesday, May 17, 2017, at age 91.
She is predeceased by her husband, Donald J. Burns Sr.; parents, Guiseppe and Alphonsina; brother, America; and sisters, Anna, Rose and Vera.
Olympia is survived by her sisters, Mary of Floyd, Antonetta of Saratoga; a daughter; Georgette (Burns) and William Glennon of Woodstock; her sons, Donald of Oneonta; Thomas and JoAnn (Johnson) of Kingston, Courtney and Pam (Griesmer) of Glenville; 11 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Olympia was born in Cooperstown, Jan. 29, 1926, to Giuseppe and Alphonsina (Benedetto) Russo.
After graduating high school, she attended Utica School of Commerce and worked several years at Griffiss Airforce Base in Rome. While there she met her future husband, Donald Burns. They were married in December 1956, and later settled in Oneonta, to raise their family. After Donald's death in 1968, Olympia worked more than 20 years for the Social Security Administration in the Oneonta office, retiring in 1998.
In 2005 Olympia moved to Woodstock, and lived for the last 12 years under the loving care of her daughter and son in-law, Georgette and Bill Glennon.
Olympia was a gentle soul who raised her family with patience and tolerance. Her refrigerator was always adorned with simple messages of positie attitude and kindness towards others. Her favorite message was the anonymous quote, "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice."
She had a green thumb and could make anything grow and blossom. She loved her neighbors and friends and was an active parishioner of St. Mary's Church in Oneonta for nearly 40 years.
In her later years she enjoyed traveling, especially to visit her children and grandchildren and made trips to Europe and Mexico.
Most of all, she loved her children and grandchildren and the frequent family get-togethers during the holidays. During those times she was content to sit by and listen to the conversations, knowing the room was filled with love. We will miss you, Mom.
Friends are invited to greet the family from 5 to 7 p.m., Thursday, May 25, at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand St, Oneonta.
A funeral Mass will take place at 10:15 a.m., Friday, May 26, at St. Mary's Church, 39 Walnut St., Oneonta. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Olympia's memory to Food for the Poor Inc. (www.foodforthepoor.org), the Woodstock Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 222, Woodstock, NY 12498, or Hudson Valley Hospice, 400 Aaron Court, Kingston, NY 12401.
Condolences to the family may be offered online at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home of Oneonta.
Published on May 21, 2017
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