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Lehigh community remembers Dr. Marlegrecy N’Ovec

November 27, 2019
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Dr. Marlegrecy N'Ovec, who made an everlasting imprint on the Lehigh Acres community, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 17.

Victory Christian Center Pastor Daniel Gregory said there are a lot of special people in the world, with some a little extra special. He said she had one of the kindest, softest personalities he had ever met in his life.

"She was caring with everyone she met. Full of joy. She had more energy than most teenagers. She was always dancing around making people smile. Everything about her stood out. Nothing blended in at all," Gregory said.

N'Ovec, who was a missionary to China for several years, also helped people at Victory Christian Center. Gregory said she shared that she wanted to make a difference in people's lives, so he connected her with some troubled girls at the church who needed a mother figure.

He said you never know how influential someone is until something happens.

"She got involved everywhere," Gregory said, adding that there is one lady at the church who is recovering from addiction. "She became a mother figure to her and helped her get through that. She is doing really well."

He said you could talk to anyone and they would all say she was amazing.

"The world needs more people like her that are selfless and willing to go out of their way to be a blessing to other people," Gregory said, without wanting anything in return. "I hope she can inspire another generation of people that would be the same. The world needs people like her."

Silvia Szeliga first met N'Ovec at Victory Christian Center in Lehigh Acres when she was immediately attracted to her energy.

"She was this great energy, vibrant and very youthful," she explained. "She was larger than life from a tiny little body. She is just this giant personality."

Szeliga said she learned that she wanted to help children, and people through tutoring and academic support ministry. N'Ovec worked with her kids for a month, or two with their academics. She said her daughter's reading skills shot up and her son's handwriting improved.

"She was like a grandmother and other ways, my mom," she said, adding that N'Ovec called her a daughter. "She was a real huge blessing on our life."

Szeliga said N'Ovec started attending Victory Christian Center a little under a year ago and her presence was always felt.

"You knew she was there. She was dressed in big hats and dressed in beautiful colors. She was a fashion icon, as well as a good Christian," she said.

One thing she remembered, N'Ovec sharing that "she may be in her 80s, but she can still climb a tree faster than anyone else."

"It blows my mind that she is gone. You would not have thought she would be gone, it was such a sudden death," Szeliga said. "It was so sudden and out of the blue. It was a shock throughout the whole church. Thanksgiving won't be the same without her."

She said she hopes to arrange a memorial service for N'Ovec in Lehigh Acres.

"We are giving the family space and privacy and wait and see what they want to do. I know I want to do something to honor her memory," Szeliga said. "She was an impactful person. She was the purest of pure."

Claudette Vecchio, who also met N'Ovec at Victory Christian Center, described her as a beautiful soul. She explained her to be sweet, humble, always having a word of wisdom, never taking sides, greeting everyone with a smile, loving, kind and always looking out for you.

When Vecchio and N'Ovec first struck up a conversation they could not stop talking.

"We got attached, especially with my little ones. She called them her grandkids. She loved her kids. I called her mom and mother and she would say 'my daughter and my princess,'" she said.

When Vecchio heard the news, she said she cried because she spoke to N'Ovec twice the day she passed away. She said N'Ovec asked her to call her back.

If she did not make that call, Vecchio said it would have torn her apart.

"I miss her lots. I'm glad we had the conversations we did. Her word, 'tether ourselves to the Lord.' That was my final big word from her," she said.



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