Olivia LeVan Obituary
With mother, Lilian On the Hastings seafront

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In Memory of

Olivia Joyce LeVan

October 14, 1923 - July 18, 2014
Obituary

Olivia Joyce Cottrell LeVan died peacefully at Greenwich Woods on Friday, July 18, 2014. She was born on October 14, 1923, in Brighton, England, to Thomas Cottrell and Liliane (Essling) Cottrell. Her father was a prominent British cartoonist who drew for a number of weekly magazines including Punch and Blighty, and was a press cartoonist for the Beaverbook group of papers. "Wit's Krieg," compilation of his WWII work, is in the collection of the Imperial War Museum in London. Olivia was raised in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. In May 1941, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) of the British Army. Upon completing...
Olivia Joyce Cottrell LeVan died peacefully at Greenwich Woods on Friday, July 18, 2014. She was born on October 14, 1923, in Brighton, England, to Thomas Cottrell and Liliane (Essling) Cottrell. Her father was a prominent British cartoonist who drew for a number of weekly magazines including Punch and Blighty, and was a press cartoonist for the Beaverbook group of papers. "Wit's Krieg," compilation of his WWII work, is in the collection of the Imperial War Museum in London.
Olivia was raised in Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. In May 1941, she joined the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) of the British Army. Upon completing training, she was sent to Dorchester Barracks where she was a switchboard operator. She was then sent to Bovington Camp, the tank headquarters of General Montgomery, and then on to Weymouth Barracks to be trained as a plotter, learning how to plot shipping and aircraft on a large plotting table and passing the information along to the gunners. When plotters were needed for aircraft operations, she was transferred to the RAF base at Middle Wallop. It was here that she was on duty in the in the operations room in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944. On that historic day she plotted the movement of the D-Day forces crossing the English Channel.
During the war, she met Arthur LeVan, an American soldier, on a blind date in London. They married in July 1945. She came to the U.S. as a War Bride on the Queen Mary and lived in Nazareth, PA, Arthur's home town. She became a U.S. citizen in November 1953. Arthur worked for Dixie Cup (American Can) and was transferred to their new Greenwich headquarters in 1971.
Olivia worked in Greenwich for over 20 years as an executive secretary at various companies including Timex, Heminway & Bartlett, Greenwich Academy (Headmaster's secretary), Greenwich Hospital, American Optical Corporation, and for Amb. Joseph Verner Reed.
She enjoyed the Greenwich harbor ferry boat rides, vacationing in Bermuda, her cat Simon, listening to her daughter sing, gardening, and writing. She wrote a memoir (unpublished) of growing up in England, her war experiences, and the often difficult adjustment to living in the U.S as a war bride.
She is survived by her daughter, Denise LeVan, of Stamford; her stepsister, Sally Thorpe, of Hailsham, E. Sussex, U.K., and stepbrother, Robin Cottrell, of London, U.K. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Arthur.
The family would like to thank Masonicare Hospice Care and Greenwich Woods for the loving care given to Olivia.
Arrangements are being made by Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, 2900 Summer St., Stamford, CT. Service will be private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Masonicare Hospice Care, CT Chapter of , or Friends of Felines, Stamford.

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