Eleanor "Annette" O'Relley
It is with profound sadness that we announce that Eleanor "Annette" O'Relley (formerly Sensenig) of Aurora, CO passed into eternal life on June 25, 2018, at the age of 75. She is survived by her loving family who will miss her dearly, including her husband, Zoltan Edward "Ed" O'Relley, her beloved husband of 47 years, her daughter and son-in-law, Christina O'Relley Barnes & Peter W. Barnes of Granger, IN, and a son and daughter-in-law, Michael A. O'Relley & Katherine Keck O'Relley of Aurora, CO, three grandchildren, Stanton and Elise Barnes, and Thomas O'Relley, a sister and brother-in-law, Margaret "Marene" & David Emery of Norristown, PA, a brother-in-law, Ivan Orelli of Falls Church, VA, nephews, Steven Whelan (Robin Lane) of Longhorn, PA, Robert (Michelle) Emery of Valparaiso, IN, James (Jill) Emery of Dallas, TX, and several great grandnieces and grandnephews. She was preceded in death by her sister, Kathryn Whelan of Antietam, PA and her parents, D. Willard & Margaret J. Sensenig (Sayre) of Pottstown, PA. Her loss will also be deeply felt by many friends, neighbors, former colleagues, and others whose lives she impacted.
Annette was a one-of-a-kind person who was extraordinarily selfless, humble, and unpretentious, reflecting values of the Mennonite community in Pottstown, PA, where she was born and raised. With her kind, gentle, and generous spirit, her ready smile, and her bright, dancing eyes, she had a gift for making others feel special, often with thoughtfulness and creativity. Her delightful sense of humor and spirit of fun were contagious. She loved bright colors, loud earrings, and silly footwear. She celebrated holidays with boundless creativity, enthusiasm, and energy, but also cultivated a habit for cherishing and bringing joy to even the simplest moments of life.
Annette graduated from Pottstown High School, Maryville College (TN), and the University of Tennessee, where she graduated with a Masters in Speech and Language Pathology. While there, she happened into her lifelong love, Ed, a Ph.D. student who came to the US as a refugee from Hungary and later became a Professor of Economics at North Dakota State University.
Throughout her 35 years at Washington School in Fargo, Annette helped many children as a speech and language therapist before retiring to Aurora, CO in 2005. She was extremely generous with her time with seemingly unlimited patience and presence for others, always taking the initiative to understand and appreciate what was important to the people she loved. She willingly sacrificed comforts so that others, especially her children and grandchildren, could flourish. Annette always assumed the best in others, was quick to recognize their strengths and to have compassion for their faults. She will be missed dearly, but we take solace in knowing that her spirit will live perpetually through the lives she touched.
Following a small family visitation, a funeral service was held at First Presbyterian Church of Littleton, CO on June 30, 2018. According to her wishes, Annette's ashes will be scattered in a beautiful place to be determined. A permanent memorial is also pending.
Annette's family is eternally grateful to the many family and friends for their kind words of comfort and remembrance, and their generous support. Donations to Denver Rescue Mission and USO in her name are welcomed and appreciated.
A complete obituary can be found online under her name at Legacy.com