Lifelong Sag Harbor resident Jane Olejnik Larson died on May 5 at her home, surrounded by family. She was 76.
She was born December 31, 1931, at Southampton Hospital to Lena (née Laspesa) and Robert Olejnik, who was descended from one of the first families to settle in Sag Harbor. She graduated as salutatorian of her class at Pierson High School in 1949. She attended school to become a phlebotomist and worked in that field for a short time.
Returning to Sag Harbor, she worked as a telephone operator until the town transitioned to direct dialing in 1963 and the office closed. Family recalled this week that she very much enjoyed her job at the phone company—assisting residents or sometimes just chatting to comfort a lonely soul. For years they tried to encourage Mrs. Larson to write a novel based on the experience and title it “Number, Please.”
According to the family, Mrs. Larson was honored to have been interviewed for the recently published “Voices of Sag Harbor,” an anthology of more than 80 recollections of village residents.
“Main Street was our playground,” she recalled in the book. Mrs. Larson and her husband, Edmund Larson lived and raised their family in Sag Harbor, except for a short time when she joined her husband in Germany while he was stationed there during his service in the U.S. Army.
In addition to her husband of 54 years, she is survived by a son, Chris Larson of Sag Harbor; three daughters, Lori Novak of Sag Harbor, Leslie Sims of Florida and Karen Magnino of Virginia; two sisters, Carol Olejnik of Sag Harbor and Betty McGuire of Florida; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by a grandson, Jonathan, in 2004; and siblings Helen Ragusa and Robert Olejnik.
The family will receive visitors on Friday, May 9, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Yardley & Pino Funeral Home in Sag Harbor. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 10, at 11 a.m. also at Yardley & Pino, followed by interment at Oakland Cemetery in Sag Harbor.
In lieu of flowers, donations to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978 or Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, P.O. Box 2725, Sag Harbor, NY 11963 would be appreciated by the family.