June 2, 1930 - November 5, 2020
Jeanette Kovacs O’Meara passed away peacefully on November 5, 2020, at the age of 90 in Plano, Texas, after valiantly battling chronic illness. She is survived by her son, Kevin (Patti), and three grandchildren, Ryan, Tim, and Katie. She is also survived by her nephews Eric and Mark Freund, her cousin Zwi Brauner and her sister in-law, Shirley Shadle. She was preceded in death by her
parents, Helen and Eugen Kovacs, sister Yvonne, and husband, Bob O’Meara.
Born in Bucharest, Romania, on June 2, 1930, her very presence in the United States defied the odds. Her father Eugen was a New York Times Balkans reporter. In 1941, Jeanette, her sister, and her parents fled Romania in the middle of the night. The family’s Jewish heritage and her father’s work imperiled their very survival. They travelled to Italy, ultimately sailing to their final destination at Ellis Island, seeking refuge in the United States as so many had before them. Sadly, Jeanette lost many family members in Europe to the Holocaust, including members of her mother’s family who perished in the Warsaw Ghetto.
When she arrived in the United States, Jeanette spoke French, Romanian, Hungarian, and German. At the Marymount School, she continued her education and mastered English as well. She spoke very kindly of the nuns who educated she and her sister in those early days. Unfortunately, her family time in New York was brief, as her father died in 1943 and her mother in 1944. Now orphaned as a teenager, Jeanette lived with her sister Yvonne and the Richmond family, who employed Yvonne as a nanny. Jeanette appreciated the kindness of Ruth Richmond for a lifetime, and Kevin came to know Ruth in later years as a surrogate grandmother.
A few years later, Jeanette followed her sister Yvonne to El Paso, Texas, where she met her husband, Bob. They married in 1951, and thirteen years later, Jeanette gave birth to their only child, Kevin. The family lived in several cities in the southern United States before ultimately settling in Richardson, Texas. Jeanette worked as an executive assistant for various North Texas telecom companies, became an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, and was a regular attendee of sewing classes at Hancock Fabrics.
Of all the joys in her life, her family was number one on her list. Having been deprived time with her own family, she cherished her time with Bob and Kevin. Perhaps her proudest title was grandmother, and she spent many hours with Ryan, Tim and Katie. She was immensely proud of all three of them. Her grandmotherly love extended to Cameron and Olivia Pickoski, who thought of her as another grandmother in their lives. Jeanette loved attending family holidays with her daughter-in-law Patti’s entire extended family. Later in life, Jeanette attended RCIA and became a member of Prince of Peace Catholic Community at the Easter Vigil, with her grandson Ryan at her side as an acolyte.
A funeral Mass will be held for Jeanette at a later date when her grandsons, who live out of town, can safely be here to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the O’Meara Family Scholarship Fund at St. Mark’s School of Texas (10600 Preston Road Dallas, TX 75230 http://www.smtexas.org/makeagift) or the Annual Fund at The Hockaday School (11600 Welch Road Dallas, TX 75229 http://www.hockaday.org/makeagift).
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Arrangements under the direction of:
Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
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