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Bertha Bronia Olbrycht
Former teacher
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Bertha Bronia Olbrycht, 92, passed away on Sunday, August 9, 2009. Bertha was known for her kindness and commitment to creating a better life for others, especially children. She dearly loved all her children and grandchildren. Even in her eighties she would catch Amtrak and Dial A Ride to help them and be with them whenever needed. She was born in New York where she met her beloved husband Al and it was love at first sight.

Bertha graduated salutatorian from her high school in New York. She received her Masters degree from Columbia University. She was very religious her entire life and praised God for making it possible to be the first in her family to graduate from college and become a teacher. She taught in New York, Tennessee and California. In Manteca she is remembered by many of her former students for her poetry, music, a love for each individual student and for planting California Poppies around the school. She was also an avid opponent of too much homework, believing that children needed time with their families and time to just run free with their friends in the wind.

Bertha was active in the community and worked to improve the world. She was an AAUW state representative instrumental in stopping the building of a Nuclear Power Plant near Knights Ferry. With her husband Alfred Olbrycht, she was active in achieving legislation for a series of parks along the Stanislaus River. She worked with her husband to assist local Congressman John McFall to provide legislation for the dam for the local OID to protect lands from floods and droughts and to benefit a large proportion of the population. As an active parent, Bronia was a Campfire Girls leader for six years. She worked to secure kindergarten and return bus routes for primary students in the Oakdale Unified School District.

Along with her husband Al, Mrs. Olbrycht was active in preserving the California Oaks. Bertha was a highly skilled gardener. She was featured in the Oakdale Leader for her beautiful hydrangea garden. She could stick any branch or plant in the ground and it would grow. She found many uses for herbs. She cooked delicious meals, perfectly spiced with herbs from her garden. Most recently she discovered that sprigs of rosemary keep grubs away from geraniums and bugs away from hydrangeas.

Bertha Bronia Olbrycht is the beloved mother of her sons and their spouses, Chip and Pam Olbrycht, Lincoln and Lennie Olbrycht and her daughter and spouse, Cindy and Joe Jaconette; her grandchildren Alison and Andrew Olbrycht, Wesley Olbrycht, and Timothy Jaconette. She is also survived by nieces, nephews and grand nieces and grand nephews. Late in life Bertha was lovingly cared for by her family and Anna Mae Tilma and Laura Allmaras. She very much enjoyed calls and cards from family and friends.

Rosary will be Wednesday, August 12, at 6 p.m. at Saint Mary’s Church in Oakdale. Funeral service will be Thursday, August 13, 1 p.m. at Saint Mary’s Church, followed by burial at Saint Anne’s Church in Columbia.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Wednesday, Aug.12, 2009