Life Remembered: Frank & Olga Nigra

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:49

    My parents, Frank & Olga Nigra, moved to Monroe in 1944. They bought a home at 125 N. Main Street, raised four children and lived in that home until December 2002 when my father died. My Mother died in July of 2000. Dad was born in Italy in 1914 and grew up in Garfield, N.J. He never graduated from High School but attended the Art Student's League and The Beaux-Arts Institute of Design in New York City in the 1930's and 40's. He worked as Art Director for Newsweek magazine from 1942-1954 and then as Art Director for Time magazine until his retirement in 1979. He was a master of the Impressionistic school of painting, and a great admirer of the French Painter, Paul Cezanne. Known locally for his landscapes, he was often spotted with his umbrella and easel at various locations throughout Orange County. He was especially fond of the Black Dirt areas of Chester, Pine Island, Goshen, and Florida, N.Y. Some of the farmers knew him well. He often came home with bags of produce given to him by the farmers His picture was in The Photo News over the years. He had showings of his paintings several times in Orange County. He also had showings in Boston, Providence, Rhode Island , and Middletown, N.Y. His favorite spot on earth, I believe, was in New Hampshire, the Rye Beach/Portsmith area where he went every summer for many years. He did many seascapes and had more than one showing of his work there, also. He married my mother, Olga Verzotti, in January of 1939. They lived in Sunnyside until they moved to Monroe in 1944. As a daughter, I truly appreciated his artwork, but I admired him more for his devotion to my mother. She suffered a stroke at the age of 71 and until she died at 85, he took such loving care of her. He was often seen walking her on North Main Street. He did so every day, making sure she had her necessary exercise. I was lucky that my family could live so close to them and they could see my children (2 of 9 grandchildren) on an almost daily basis. We learned from them the true meaning of love and devotion. I will miss them always.