Olga Zalokoski McAllister

McAllister—Olga Zalokoski McAllister, 98, on January 23, 2017, of natural causes. Olga was born on September 14, 1918, in Chester, Pa., to Rosalia Motrycz and Gregor Zalokoski, known as Harry. On a nature hike to Hawk Mountain, Pa., Olga met Bard McAllister, her future husband, who shared her adventures for nearly 60 years. She lived in Philadelphia, Pa.; Glendora, Calif.; Orlando, Fla.; Alpine, Tenn.; Visalia, Calif.; and for six years in Zambia (Africa), before settling permanently in Visalia in 1972. She mothered four sons and supported Bard’s community organizing. She loved nature, birding, and camping, which she shared with her family and friends. She and Bard, on one acre, planted walnuts, grapes, peaches, persimmons, and kiwis to consume, preserve, and share with neighbors and friends.

Taking part in many vigils against atomic bomb research and distribution, she was a weekly presence on a busy Visalia street corner for ten years, protesting the Iraq war with a sign that said “Another Great-Grandmother for Peace.” As a resident of Westgate Gardens, her last home, she rallied for peace every day with a “War Is Not the Answer” bumper sticker on the back of her wheelchair. She was a living conscience and an inspiration. Even when she was physically absent, Friends in meeting affairs often used the “Olga Test” to guide decisions, asking “What would Olga say about that?”

Olga was predeceased by her husband, Bard McAllister, and their son Brian McAllister. She is survived by three children, Keith McAllister (Mary), Carl McAllister (Janelle), and Bruce McAllister; nine grandchildren; and twelve great-grandchildren.

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