Delphina Olivieri, 86, of New York City, passed away on Sunday, February 7, 2021, in her Greenwich Village apartment.
Delphina was a lifelong resident of New York City. She was born in Brooklyn on August 29, 1934, and grew up in downtown Manhattan. She was a student of The Greenwich Village School, and went to Stanford Preparatory School in Hockessin, Delaware from 1947 to 1952 when she graduated. Delphina returned to New York, and was actively involved in Summer Stock theater at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Essex, Connecticut, and local performance in Manhattan. She continued studying painting, and through the years created a prolific series of portraits, abstract pieces, and personalized Zodiac commissioned works. Her artistic talents included a rich collection of poetry and other illuminating writings of self-discovery. She also worked on Wall Street and at Time Life Books, Inc., before retiring and returning to art full time.
A private service is planned for her loved ones.
Condolences may be sent to Redden Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Free Arts NYC, an organization for children of the arts:
A Loving Tribute to Delphina
August 29, 1934 – February 7, 2021
By Justin Clayton
I met Delphina through my cousin Collette in 1969.
I was 21 and Delphina was 35.
We became immediate friends and remained close, no matter where I was, who I was with, including debates, disagreements, and my many relocations from one coast to another over the passing years. Despite it all, the bond and the love were always there.
Delphina was a totally unique person who had many gifts.
She was highly intelligent.
She was a free-thinker and defied convention and fundamental tradition.
She was Bohemian, an accomplished artist who produced many splendid paintings and drawings during her lifetime.
She wrote reams of poetry, modestly kept in a black binder.
She found all things within the world of art and science fascinating.
She studied the universe, astrology, the Zodiac phenomenon, and mastered the reading of Tarot cards.
For Collette and me, Delphina was friend and mentor.
She was our guiding light as we explored life in New York City, and provided us with a safe haven in her home.
She counseled us, protected us, and helped set us free from the convictions of our life in New Jersey.
Above all, she truly loved us unconditionally.
Starved in childhood of love and affection, we became the family that she never had but always longed for.
The bond between us three remained indelible; yesterday, today, tomorrow, forever.
Delphina had a terrific sense of humor, and she loved comedy of the absurd, always laughing the loudest at all things outrageous.
She loved gatherings in her apartment, and the fuss and attention that we showered on her for her birthday, Christmastime, any time.
Delphina’s lifelong pet name for me was “Boddington” and for Collette it was “Rosamond.”
She always made a home for me in her little apartment, when I was moving around the City, or relocating from the West coast to East coast again, and again, for a total of 7 times. Her door was always open, the stereo playing cool music - The Moody Blues one of her personal favorites - the wine glasses filled, always ready for our tradition of sitting, talking, playing catch-up with our lives, forever soul searching into the wee hours of the morning. In truth, we became soulmates, and it remained until the day she died.
I visited Delphina the day before she passed. I sat on her bed and held her hand as we quietly reminisced about the times we shared over the past 50-plus years. She reiterated that we were soulmates, then, now and forevermore.
Delphina will always be with me, until I take my last breath and we are again reunited in the hereafter.
Delphina was eternally grateful for Collette’s lifelong role as a loving friend and confidant in her life, and she was so appreciative of all that Cindy did as physician and friend, in particular the last years of her life when things were difficult.
Collette and I are extremely proud of the video documentary/gift that we made for Delphina. The title, “Dreams of My Life,” was borrowed from a poem she wrote, and passages were used throughout the story of her journey. “Dreams of My Life” is currently on YouTube (www.youtube.com). In conclusion, I think it is appropriate to quote a few lines from her poem, and her final words that she spoke in “Dreams of My Life,” our loving tribute to Delphina and all that she meant to us.
How days pass, from one change to another
A million faces of difference like weather
How long it seems to look back and wonder
What was I like yesterday?
I am perhaps but a feather of a cloud fulfilling a legend
To traverse space here and beyond forever
“Dreams of My Life”
From the video documentary “Dreams of My Life,” her final words summing up her journey:
The satisfaction, the ultimate recognition is achieved when you realize that as you change your future,
you change your past and alter your presence. And with that you transcend.
I make input through myself to a universal force, a cosmic bond.
I ask for guidance.
I need virtue and understanding.
That’s a prayer.
I am not afraid of death, and I believe in life after death.
I believe that this - what I am experiencing here - is only a small fraction.
And if I don’t accomplish all the tasks that are set before me in this lifetime, I’ll do it somewhere else.
There are many universes in one place.
I am eternal.
I am ever-present.
I am my past and my future in the present time.
I always have been…..
I always will be…..