Remembering Olga Corrias Murro Hancock, 1977 – 2020
It is with tremendous sadness that I share news of my dear friend and colleague Olga’s passing. She died in mid-November, two years after being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She faced the challenges of cancer and its treatments with strength, resilience, frustration, fury, and an ever-present sense of humor.
A perfect fit to the culture of the Untours Foundation, Olga immediately resonated with our founder, Hal Taussig, whom she never met: Hal as a rancher’s son, she as a shepherd’s daughter, and both embracing simplicity as a basic tenet. They each championed equity in all aspects of life, with a particular focus on coops and all worker-owned entities. They each had a powerful work ethic and an appreciation for all things reused, recycled, upcycled, and shared – they would happily lend you anything they had!
Olga lived up to her job title of “Director of Donor Happiness.” In due time, I called her the “Director of the Director’s Happiness,” since she was all that. She had a way of hitting my funny bone. We commuted together, and I sometimes marveled at how much she could talk without coming up for air. English may have been the second language for this Sardinian, but she knew how to use it! Olga was so articulate and nuanced that I often had to let the precision of her words sink in slowly. Like a great novel, she could articulate things I knew to be true but had never named for myself.
It was Olga’s kindness and openness to really love us all that made her stand out — way out. She was incredibly present. You felt like you were all that mattered in that moment.
Olga was fortunate to be treated at a leading-edge hospital, where she received some of the newest trials. Too quickly, however, she witnessed the underbelly of the care and the system, the inconsistencies, and the limitations of access. She fought for herself and others, keenly aware that many in her situation received little or no care. She was outspoken for universal healthcare.
Olga and her husband Matt have two precious, smart, and loving bi-lingual little children. Matt is an amazing father and has been a most committed and inspiring partner to Olga. In all this sadness, he is the good news: the children are in wonderful hands.
You can celebrate Olga’s life by embracing some of the values and causes she supported: shop at your local food coop or at national coops like Equal Exchange, use as little plastic in your lives as you can, eat whole foods, and approach all aspects of your life with humor, vitality, and love.
Author: Elizabeth Killough is the Co-CEO of the Untours Foundation