Music 32

Olga Colbert Jeffery

September 18, 1929 ~ March 13, 2022 (age 92)


Olga Colbert Jeffery of Rhinebeck, NY passed away on March 13, 2022 at the age 92.


Born in Poughkeepsie, NY on September 18, 1929 she was the daughter of Anatole Kolodny, M.D. and Ellen Plass Kolodny of New York City and Rhinebeck, NY.


A graduate of the Horace Mann-Lincoln School and Finch Junior College in NYC, she attended Columbia University and Juilliard School of Music and became an accomplished pianist. Olga graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Journalism.


She composed articles for several newspapers and publications across the country.  She was also Editor of the Awa Lau Wahine, a military magazine for Naval and Marine Corps wives in Oahu, Hawaii, where she was stationed with her first husband, Marine Corps Lt. Col. O. W. van den Berg Jr. (predeceased).   She authored several books well into her 80’s and was actively working on a series of Odes she planned to publish. 


Olga was a sixth-grade teacher at the Chambers Elementary School in Kingston, NY for 18 years and then changed careers to serve as Director & President of Valeur Mansion Corporation (Valeur) in Rhinebeck, NY, for 17 years.  During her tenure with Valeur, she was instrumental in organizing the restoration of the historic mansion, once home to Alice Astor and Serge Obolensky.  The former Astor estate, named “Marienruh” was where she devoted her efforts promoting the site for public and private social events, business gatherings, conferences, and fundraising benefits.  During that time, she became the owner of Valeur Mansion Catering, Inc. and in parallel, became Administrator of Valeur-Jensen LLC. which managed several rental properties in the area.


Olga remarried in 1981 to Mr. Keith Spencer Jeffery of Devon, England (predeceased).  Their marriage was highlighted by travel and exploration of England to visit extended family, friends, and take in the history and landscape of the English countryside.


Throughout her life, Olga traveled extensively, loved people, and was an engaged and articulate woman.  She was passionate about history and a host of social and political issues.  Following her retirement from Valeur, she filled her time supporting and participating in several regional organizations and groups.  These included being a member of the DAR Livingston Chapter, Hudson River Heritage, Rhinebeck Historical Society, and most recently the local organization, Rhinebeck at Home.


As mobility issues limited her travel, through encouragement by members of Rhinebeck at Home, she would frequently host teas for small groups to engage in conversations on a variety of topics.  Her front door continuously revolved with friends, business associates, and acquaintances that would regularly pop in for a visit to catch up, discuss current events or reminisce about the past.  She was blessed with the gift of storytelling and would regularly share experiences of her life and travels that would hold listeners spell bound.  She held strong political views and was outraged at the current state of the world.  She felt and expressed profound compassion for those searching for a safer place to live and obtain a better quality of life.


Olga’s last years were enriched by the compassion of her friend and caregiver Candace “Candy” Benson.  They would cruise the back roads of the Hudson Valley visiting places steeped with memories and local history.  They even embarked on a long road trip to visit family in Virginia.


Survivors include three daughters, Ellen van den Berg (Paul) Siebold of Rhinebeck, NY; Marcia van den Berg (William) Connell of Lynchburg, VA; and Dr. Margaret Valeur-Jensen of DelMar, CA.  Three step-children: Mark, Julia and Giles Jeffery reside in England.


Her five grandchildren include; Courtney (Ted) Clark Hunt of Lynchburg, VA; Dr. Alexander (Lindsay) Siebold of Aurora, OH; Hannah (Jahbez) Siebold Benga of Sarasota, FL; Dr. Jackson Connell of Lynchburg, VA; and Cole Valeur Vangel of DelMar, CA.  There are also three great grandchildren: Lilian Hunt of Lynchburg, VA; and William and Eric Siebold of Aurora, OH.


A private graveside memorial service will be held at the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Red Hook, NY at the convenience of the family.  A celebration of her life will be held for family and friends in early summer.


In lieu of cards or flowers, please make donations in her memory to the Rhinebeck Rescue Squad or to the food pantry of the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, P.O. Box 248, Rhinebeck, NY 12572


Arrangements are under the direction of the Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, Rhinebeck, NY.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Olga Colbert Jeffery, please visit our floral store.


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