Olga Castellanos Torres passed away peacefully at Montifore|New Rochelle Hospital, on November 21, 2021.
Visiting hours will be Friday, November 26, 2021, between 4 and 8pm at Lloyd Maxcy & Sons Beauchamp Chapel Inc., 16 Shea Pl., New Rochelle, NY. A funeral Mass is scheduled for Saturday, November 27, 2021, at 9:30am at Holy Name of Jesus Church, 75 Lispenard Avenue, New Rochelle, NY. Interment will follow at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye, NY.
Olga was born in the province of Oriente, Cuba on July 3, 1929, to the late Dr. Isidoro Castellanos Rodiles and America Pintado Castellanos Gonzalez. Olga was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Pablo Torres, whom she married on November 20, 1955, in Havana, Cuba, and to whom she was completely devoted for their almost fifty-two years of marriage.
Olga is survived by her two sisters, America Santamarina (Victor) and Marta Squire (W. Geoffrey), and also her brother -in-law, Antonio Torres (Zoila), and many nieces and nephews, whom she cared for dearly. Her four beloved children are: Pablo Torres, Raul Torres (Ileana Lopez-Balboa), Olga Murphy (Kent), and Cecilia Roos (John). Olga was also blessed to be the Abuela to eight grandchildren, including Caroline Woods (Brendan), Chelsea Torres Bavaro (Paul), Sarah Helms (Chet), Alina Murphy, Matthew and Jillian Roos, and Natalia and Diego Torres. Olga also cherished her great grandchildren: Julio, Niko, and Francesca Bavaro; Weston Helms; and Jaxson Woods.
Olga attended St. George’s School in el Vedado, Cuba and then studied at the University of Havana where she went on to receive a Doctorate in Natural Sciences. Immediately upon graduating from the university, and before leaving Cuba, Olga embarked on a passion-filled career as an educator, starting with teaching math and science classes at the Ruston Academy, and thereafter at the Apostolate (College) of the Sacred Heart where she taught Botany, Zoology, Minerology, and Agriculture. Once she and her family fled to the United States as Castro took control, she continued an illustrious education career, this time teaching Spanish at St. Gabriel’s High School, Scarsdale High School, and The Ursuline School, all in Westchester County, NY. More important than the courses she taught were the life lessons she shared with her students.
After fleeing Cuba, Olga and her family eventually settled into the neighborhood of Sutton Manor in New Rochelle, where they developed life-long friendships among their neighbors. In later years, Olga embraced village-living in Larchmont, NY where she enjoyed wonderful years of retirement with neighbors and also with fellow retirees from The Ursuline School. Olga, a devout Catholic, was a parishioner of Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church since 1962.
The intellectual and loving matriarch of the Torres family, Olga lived life with tremendous determination and spirit. A woman of poise, beauty, and confidence, she had the ability to uniquely connect with family and friends alike, and always made each one of them feel special given her innate ability to absorb and remember details about their lives. And she never shied away from providing a helpful observation or educational story.
While she was committed educator, nothing compared to her devotion to her husband and family. She was the driver and inspiration for the family’s success in the United States after leaving Cuba, especially Olga’s unending support of her husband as he restudied dentistry at New York University because there was no reciprocity in the United States for his Cuban dental degree. Olga rose above these challenges and created a home atmosphere where music, dancing, and frequent extended family reunions and dinners were the norm.
She met her husband Pablo at a party while dancing and spent years with him stepping to the salsa, waltz, tango, and cha-cha. And there was never a conga line she would ignore.
Olga Torres was a spiritual woman of unwavering faith, who left a lasting impression with so many, and will never be forgotten. In her memoirs she wrote: “The Lord has walked with me in my long journey. I have always asked him to listen to my prayers. I certainly believe in the power of prayers”. And we are certain that God has heard her prayers and welcomed her with open arms for eternal life.