Cover photo for John Charles Olmsted's Obituary
John Charles Olmsted Profile Photo
1942 John 2021

John Charles Olmsted

January 24, 1942 — August 2, 2021

John Charles Olmsted died on the morning of August 2, 2021 at the age of 79. His family is grateful for the years they shared with him after his Alzheimer's disease diagnosis in 2016.

John was born in Windsor, Canada, to Kathleen and Charles Olmsted. Though he had no siblings, he was dearly loved by his mother's sisters Louella, Leila, Violet, and Beatrice, and his father's sister, Margery. John moved to the United States and earned his doctorate at Harvard University in 1972. He taught English at Oberlin College for forty years, specializing in Victorian prose, poetry, and painting. Among his fondest memories were his years directing Oberlin's programs in London, England, and Strasbourg, France.

In his younger years, John loved to exercise daily, a passion inherited by his son, John Alexander Olmsted. His love of the arts continues in his daughter, Galina Olmsted, now an art historian and curator. John was proud of his children for the partners they chose in life. He loved his son-in-law, Richard Betzel, and his daughter-in-law, Anna Gallagher. John loved and was loved by his wife of thirty-five years, Olga Markof-Belaeff, who cared for him with particular devotion in his final years.

John's disease robbed him of much; the loss of memory is keenly felt in a man who once knew many lines of poetry by heart. But it also provided unique joys. Each time he was reminded of Galina's wedding, or introduced to his new grandson Jack, he reacted with the same happiness he felt the first time.

A Parastas will be held on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. in the Dovin Funeral and Cremation Specialists, 2701 Elyria Avenue, Lorain.  The family will receive friends on Thursday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services at 10:00 a.m. at Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, 2238 E. 32nd Street, Lorain.  Rev. Fr. Basil Stokya will officiate.  Burial will follow in Westwood Cemetery, Oberlin.

Instead of flowers, his family suggests that friends make a donation in John's memory to Second Harvest Food Bank in Lorain, Ohio, or to the charity of their choice.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Charles Olmsted, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Ridge Hill Memorial Park

44805 N Ridge Rd, Amherst, OH 44001

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Funeral Service

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

SS Peter & Paul Orthodox Church

2238 E 32nd St, Lorain, OH 44055

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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