January 16, 1925 August 31, 2013
January 16, 1925 -- August 31, 2013

Ilona Vitarius

Ilona Albok Vitarius, born January 16, 1925, passed away peacefully on August 31, 2013, surrounded by her family and friends. She is survived by daughter Andrea Reynolds, son-in-law Fergus Reynolds and grandson Joshua Zivec. She is also survived by her extended family Joshua Jones, Ryan Jones, step-daughters Aranka Vitarius, Dawn Vitarius McKnight, Georgina Vitarius, Veronica Vitarius Altman and their children Edwin, Peter, DawnRose, Ariana and Austin. She is preceded in death by her parents John and Ilona Albok , her first husband George Bodor and second husband George Vitarius. Born to Hungarian parents, Ilona grew up in the Hungarian community of New York City, where she was known as their beloved "nightingale". She had been taking singing and dancing lessons since she was six, but at the age of 15, her dance teacher discovered she had a phenomenal voice. Under the tutelage of her treasured voice teacher, Mme. Adelaide Gescheidt, she made her debut on January 13, 1946 to a capacity-filled hall at the Barbizon Plaza Concert Hall. Ilona's crystalline lyric coloratura soprano voice was not her only talent. Ilona also excelled at clothing design, the art of sewing, Hungarian folk-dancing, piano, painting and cooking. Her musical career included touring as the featured soloist with Phil Spitalny's All Girl Orchestra, numerous concerts, Broadway and off-Broadway theater, the Experimental Lyric Opera Company, The Lambs Club performance of "I Love You" and engagements at some of New York City's most prestigious supper clubs. Ilona participated in many War Bond Drives during World Word II and performed for the troops. In 1985, after the passing of her parents, Ilona moved to Dallas, Texas to be near her daughter and grandson. From this point forward, her aesthetic focus became the promotion of her father, John Albok's, photographic legacy. She worked tirelessly to expand her father's already prestigious reputation. During this phase of her life, she was able to arrange exhibitions at art galleries and museums throughout the country. Her final accomplishment was an exhibition at the Amon Carter Museum. Unfortunately, her passing precedes the opening of the exhibition. Ilona will be remembered for her generous, kind heart, her love of mankind and animals, her spirited countenance and the abundant love she bestowed upon anyone lucky enough to be in her sphere. Ilona possessed the rare ability to make friends out of perfect strangers anywhere she went and always left an impression with those whose paths she crossed. The world will be a less colorful place without her, but the angels have gained a truly exquisite spirit and voice for their choir.