Austra Liza Evele


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1. Frank (Francis) Joseph Fiske O'Hara

Austra Liza Evele

  • Born: 25 Jan 1927, Liepaja, Latvia
  • Marriage (1): Frank (Francis) Joseph Fiske O'Hara on 13 Jun 1953 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Died: Jan 1999, Toronto, York, Ontario, Canada aged 72

   Cause of her death was Diabetes.

  General Notes:

Probably as a result of a tumultuous childhood, Austra suffered from what we would now call PTSD. Before she was born, her mother saw her firstborn pre-school daughter go up in flames on backing into a fireplace. Her mother was pregnant at the time and aborted twins at the shock. Soon after, she became pregnant again and gave birth to Austra. She was rejected by her mother from the day she was born.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania had been part of the Russian Empire since the end of the 18th century. After the Russian Revolution of 1917 they became independent states. The German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact between Russia and Germany fell apart in June 1941, when Nazi forces invaded the Soviet Union. On August 23, 1939, shortly before World War 2 broke out, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union surprised the world by signing the German/Soviet Nonaggression Pact. That Pact included the Baltic countries returning under the Soviet's wing. This treaty ended June 1941 when the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, including the Baltics.

However, before the Germans arrived, Russia rounded up the Baltic countries' Intelligentsia and shipped them off to the Gulag, including both of Austra's parents. (Austra was 14.) The German army took over Austra's family home for army officers use. They did allow Austra to stay in a part of the home, along with the woman who had been her governess. Austra's father had put money in a German bank, which at least covered that problem. Later, as the Russian army approached, and the German army retreated, Latvians who self-identified as "upper class" fled with the Germans. Austra ended up in Austria. She was forced to work in a munitions factory. As the Russian army approached, many people fled to Germany. She was lucky enough to be 'adopted' by a farm family in Bavaria and stayed with them until the end of the war. Subsequently, she moved to a 'Displaced Persons Camp' in Germany. There she met a couple of relatives and the three of them came to Toronto. Austra got a job in a clothing factory. She was quite adept and quickly learned how to run a sewing machine.

Toronto Western Hospital had a nurse training program that was ideal for her. They provided room and board, a uniform, a small stipend and an accelerated two year program to become a trained nurse, graduating in 1954 (a year after she married Frank O'Hara).

She died, age 72, at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, following surgery..

Yes, son of Lee Thomas Edward O'Hara and Alma Clara Brennan, on 13 Jun 1953 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Frank (Francis) Joseph Fiske O'Hara was born on 4 Apr 1926 in Silver Centre, Temiskaming, Ontario, Canada and was christened in Apr 1926 in Silver Centre, Temiskaming , Ontario, Canada.)

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