Olga Vlatkovich Summers

Olga Vlatkovich Summers died Oct. 10. She was 73.

Olga was born on March 4, 1926, in Belgrade, Serbia (formerly Yugoslavia), the fourth of 11 children of a shoe factory owner and his wife.

Her childhood was quite carefree but an accident involving a German transport truck left Olga temporarily blind until she had surgery after the war.

She met James Summers in 1950, and although neither could speak the other’s language, they fell in love. After a 3-year courtship, they were married in 1953. By then, they could understand each other much better, but kept a dictionary nearby just in case.

Olga came to the United States with Jim in 1953 and applied for U.S. citizenship soon after. They lived in California, Hawaii and Nevada.

While in Southern California, Olga joined the foreign press association and wrote articles about local celebrities for her hometown paper. She also sponsored her two sisters and three brothers to come to the U.S. to live.

The happiest years of her life were spent in Hawaii when Jim was stationed there. She loved the people, the weather and the culture. In later years, she often reminisced about those years and visited when she could.

When Jim was stationed in Vietnam, Olga moved back to Southern California where she raised their only child, Dora, and later went to work for Disneyland as a retail clerk.

After a 10-year struggle with Alzheimer’s Disease, Jim died in 2001.

Olga moved to Messenger House last June to be closer to her daughter and son-in-law.

She is survived by her daughter Dora Summers-Ewing and son-in-law Larry Ewing; and four brothers, Milan, Voja, Rade and Ceda Vlatkovich.

By her own request, there will be no formal service. She will be cremated and her ashes scattered in the waters off Hawaii. An online guest book is at: www.cookfamilyfuneralhome.com.