In Memoriam, Oana Popescu, June 21, 2010


Born in Brasov, Romania, July 7, 1967, to Elena and Victor Stanescu, Oana displayed an early love for nature and the outdoors, which later developed into a passion for trees and dendrology. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Transylvania University of Brasov in 1991 and her Master's from Virginia Tech in 2001. After moving with her family to College Station in 2003, she took an assistant lecturer position with the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. Through this position, she was able to impart her love of dendrology onto her students, who voted her the departmental Undergraduate Professor of the Year in 2010.

Oana's childhood was dedicated to rhythmic gymnastics, in which she became a national champion. She was also an avid traveler, hiker, photographer, marathon runner, and devoted Bon Jovi fan. She pursued her interests with unparalleled passion and lived her life to the fullest.

Oana is survived by her husband of 19 years, Sorin Popescu, her daughter, Alexandra, her beloved Schnauzer-mix dog, Nera, and countless friends, students, and colleagues. She is predeceased by her parents.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be made payable to the Texas A&M Foundation to establish a student scholarship in her name. Please note on the check - Oana Popescu Fund #05-73485. Checks should be mailed to Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840-2811 or use your credit card.

  • Give Now at the Texas A&M Foundation
  • Step 1: Under Gift Information do not select any options under the available programs instead check the box next to "I would like to contribute to an account not currently listed above".
  • In the Account Name: Oana Popescu Fund #05-73485. Enter the amount to the right of the account name.
  • Next: Select one-time gift under Gift Type.
  • Next: Select "Calculate"
  • Proceed to Step 2 (Payment information), enter the required information
  • Proceed to Step 3 (Review Gift)

Any questions please contact : Judith Turlington (

Leave your condolences and memories of Oana below:

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5/23/2016 1:36:15 AM
Thank you for the great moments we shared training together and competing against each other, moments that brought tears of frustration and tears of joy and, most of all, thank you for all the memories I have with you. I am happy to look at the photo gallery and see that you were blessed with a full life, a loving family and great friends. You carried your wonderful being with grace and lightness.
Simona (Zdrenghea) Buna, Indianapolis
8/9/2010 8:26:38 AM
My deepest condolences to you and your family.
I can't find my words to describe how I feel now after I got the sad news. May god give you strength.
Marian Marinescu
7/29/2010 3:05:45 AM
Oana has been an inspiration to me and I see now that she has been an inspiration to so many others. I hope that Sorin and Ali will find some comfort in these humble words of sympathy. I will always keep her memory alive, as she was for me a model of optimism and dignity. May your memory be eternal, dear sister! The world has lost a great human being; the Heaven has gained an Angel.
Dalia Abbas
7/28/2010 9:10:37 AM
Dear Dr. Popescu,

I have had the pleasure to meet Oana in 2007. A wonderful person. I remember she was motivated in the difficult time she went through, but she also shared her motivation. It was a pleasure to have known her. May her soul rest in peace.
Diana (Savescu) Vida
7/24/2010 12:14:53 PM
When hearing the sad news, I dropped a tear for my dear classmate, Oana, who I got to know even she was two years ahead of me taking the same Forestry and Silviculture program at Transilvania University of Brasov, Romania. I'm glad to find out that she led a life full of dignity and responsability, using her knowledge and talent to the teach the youth.
Rest in peace, you'll be a good example for us! Diana, BC, Canada
Dana, Romania
7/14/2010 1:14:59 AM
Mi-e foarte greu sa ma obisnuiesc cu ideea ca Oana nu mai e printre cei vii...O lacrima pentru Oana - "Ionel" - baiatul tatei, colega noastra frumoasa si exuberanta si un gand bun pentru familia indurerata...
Russell G. Congalton and Family
7/12/2010 1:58:55 PM

My heart goes out to you at this very difficult time. You are in our thoughts and our prayers. Please let me know if I can help you out in any way

Russ & Jeanie Congalton
Hakan Oguz, Izmir, Turkey
7/11/2010 8:13:08 AM
Dear Dr. Popescu,
I just received the news and was deeply sadden. I am very grateful to have met Oana because she was kind, happy, and passionate about nature. The Department has lost an incredible person. I have been honored and blessed having you as my friends. My deepest condolences to you and your daughter, Alexandra. May god bless you.

Hakan Oguz
Luis Cisneros-Zevallos
7/5/2010 10:23:12 PM
Dear Sorin
Today I received the news and was deeply sadden. In many opportunities I crossed with her walking to or from the building. Oana always had a smile or a friendly wave and her positive energy was just beautiful. My prayers for her and your family.
Kelly Hoffman
7/4/2010 9:55:16 AM
Oana was my teacher. I am so so sorry for your lost. I'm sorry these feeble words are all I can give you. I will pray for you and yours.
7/1/2010 12:09:30 PM
O veste surprinzatoare si incredibila, neplacuta, caci Oana a stiut sa-si mascheze suferinta si sa fie discreta in aceasta privinta. Pentru mine va ramane aceeasi colega sufletista si vesela, va ramane aceeasi BULINA , pe care nu o voi uita niciodata. Sincere condoleante familiei.
Laura and Tudor Boghici, Calgary, Canada
6/26/2010 3:21:18 PM
Even with the geographical distance between us, Oana has been a constant and luminous presence in our lives, always supportive, understanding and a truly wonderful friend.
We will greatly miss our phone conversations, emails and her charming sense of humor. People like Oana are so very rare in this world, we feel blessed and honored to have known her.

Ali, we have watched you grow into a wonderful young lady. Your mother always spoke so proudly of your academic, athletic and personal accomplishments, her love and gentle soul will forever watch over you.

Sorin, dear friend, we love you and pray that you will find the strength to go through this difficult time.

Rodica, Iulia and Marius Hossu
6/26/2010 9:53:10 AM
Sorin and Ali, we were very fortunate to have known Oana, and honored to be among your friends. We admired her, and were impressed by her courage in the face of difficulties, and her dedication to her family and to the pursuit of her ideas. Oana will always be remembered for her enthusiasm, passion and grace. We know that her love will be with you forever, and we pray that you will find comfort and peace in the years to come.
Flori, Dan, Angi and Ioana CHIRA, Brasov, Romania
6/26/2010 5:14:22 AM
Unii oameni sunt providentiali pe fata pamantului: unii influenteaza mersul lumii, altii lumineaza colectivitatile din jurul lor. Oana a fost un om aparte, in lumea noastra cenusie. Oana si-a "risipit" darurile asupra celor din jur. A fost un mare privilegiu pentru noi, ca ne-am intersectat, macar pentru scurt timp, cu destinul Oanei!

Our hearts are full of tears, our minds can not understand…
Our beloved Oana will forever remain with us through all the amazing letters (she was a gifted story-teller), full of live photographs, charming conversations (in other life she may be a great actress), as a warm and close (despite old and new frontier) friend.

Dumnezeu sa o odihneasca in pace!
Sorin and Ali, God bless you!
Strawser Family, College Station, Texas
6/25/2010 5:05:58 PM
Sorin and Alexandra, we are so sorry about the loss of your beautiful Oana. The light that radiates from every photo of her is incredible. It is obvious that she saw the miracle of life in everything around her. Amazing Woman. Amazing Family. Amazing Grace.
Irina Petrache, Indianapolis, Indiana
6/25/2010 5:05:01 PM
I have known Oana since we were 14. We were classmates in highschool and we shared the same Athletic Club as home of our extrcurricular competitive sports. Oana was and continues to be my inspiration for kindness, purity, optimism, and inner strength. Even as a teenager, she was perfect in everything: beauty, grace, athleticism, humor, academics, manners, friendship. Sorin and Ali, you must be so proud of her. I pray you will be strong during these hard times. We will never stop remembering her short but powerful presence on Earth. Irina (din clasa de la Mesota)
~ Bonnie Byram, College Station, Texas
6/25/2010 5:03:35 PM
Sorin and Alexandra,
Oana was an inspiration to me through my own fight with cancer. I will always remember her as someone that never allowed struggles to overcome her enthusiasm for life. She truly was one of the most extraordinary people I have ever known. I choose to remember Oana as a fighter and an optimist.
Take care,
~ Pam Adelson, Adelaide, South Australia
6/25/2010 5:02:20 PM
Oana you lived life well, with passion, love, joy and courage. You continue to inspire me. I will miss you my friend.
Teresa Lankford
6/25/2010 5:00:45 PM
I will always remember my beautiful, smiling neighbor, Oana. Sorin, I will pray for God to bring you peace and blessings.
Monica Hoz de Vila
6/25/2010 11:16:15 AM
Sorin and Alexandra:

My condolences for your loss. The short time I got to know Oana I was able admire her positive attitude and appreciate her warmth as a person. I am glad she was able to see you graduate from high school Alexandra, and I wish you a bright future.
My best wishes to Oana's family.
John Iiames
6/25/2010 6:57:48 AM
Sorin - I am very sorry to hear about the death of your wife. You and your family are in my family's prayers today.

John Iiames, US EPA, Raleigh, NC
George Mihailescu,Rm Valcea,Romania
6/25/2010 6:19:33 AM
Sincer, nu pot sa cred si sa accept.Pentru mine Oana nu a muri ,iar atata timp cat voi trai ,o voi purta in minte si in suflet asa cum am cunoscut-o .Sincere condoleanta familiei.Dumnezeu sa o odihnesca cu cetele sfintilor..
6/25/2010 5:52:03 AM
A plecat dintre noi,mult prea devreme un om si un suflet deosebit!Moartea OANEI a lasat un gol imens in sufletele celor care au cunoscut-o.Atat timp cat vom trai o vom purta in suflet,ii vom aprinde o lumanare,ne vom ruga pentru ea ,pentru ca ,pentru noi OANA nu a murit.Santem alaturi de SORIN si ALI in aceste clipe grele.Dumnezeu sa o odihneasca!
David Appel
6/24/2010 9:01:18 AM
Sorin and Alexandra,

Although I never grew close to Oana during our brief professional interactions, I always valued the time I spent with her when I was the interim department head in the Forest Science Department. Her positive attitude was incredible, and helped me so much as I was recovering from my own cancer problems at the time, even though hers were even then so much worse than my own. She was always willing to help me identify a tree, a skill that seems to be growing less and less common as our priorities change. Whenever we met, I always came away feeling a little better about things. You were lucky to have had her - but then I am sure you know that.
Adela, Iulia, Simona si familiile lor
6/24/2010 1:58:07 AM
Lacrimi, durere si un imens gol raman in urma disparitiei dintre noi a Oanei.
Zambete, dragoste si lumina ne-a daruit Oana de-a lungul scurtei ei vieti. O vom purta mereu in suflete.
Sorin si Ali suntem alaturi de voi. Dumnezeu sa va dea putere.

Onuta, odihneste-te in pace!
Adrian, Gabriela & Tudor Farcas
6/23/2010 11:53:48 PM
Having grown up together, it was a joy to see Oana become the admirable human being that she was. Through our adult years we enjoyed every minute spent together and we will treasure the memories of her. Rest in peace.
To Sorin and Ali, we wish you strength to go on, and the wisdom to accept this tragic turn of fate. It certainly gave us a deeper understanding of life.
We love you.
Gabriel & Rodica Olariu
6/23/2010 5:51:51 PM

We are by your side during these trying moments. Our deepest condoleances to the saddened family.
Mark and Carolynda Brewer
6/23/2010 3:42:09 PM
Our deepest condolonces to you and Ali. We always enjoyed seeing and visiting with you and Oana when you were biking or just walking the dog. Her smile and friendly wave will be missed. We have been blessed having you as neighbors. God bless you.
Lilly Sanchez-Saqib
6/23/2010 3:39:52 PM
Dear Sorin and Alexandra,
May God bless you and give you strength . I have the beautiful image of Oana's smile planted in my heart forever. I am greatful to have met her because she was a kind and happy human being that had a great love for family, friends and nature. I regret not having spent more time with her. As friends and neighbors, please count on us for anything.
Victor, Felicia and Cristina Pacurar
6/23/2010 3:14:13 PM
Words have no power to express our feelings in such moments. It is so very difficult to write about Oana using the past, she is a great friend because she will be always present in our hearts. We were privileged to live a long part of our lives close to Oana, Sorin and Ali. So many memories from childhood, teenage and young adult periods are revealing Oana as the most extraordinary person, always kind, helpful, smiling, a ray of light in our lives. Looking at your grief we all may reckon how unfair life can be, but this are the rules we will never understand, perhaps God asks the best of us to join Him earlier. We pray for you, our best friends, for Oana to rest in peace, and for you Sorin and Ali to have the strength to go on. God bless you.
Mike Messina
6/23/2010 1:08:51 PM
Oana was one of those very rare people who never had an unkind word to say about anyone. I always felt better after a conversation with her, no matter what the subject, as her optimism was contagious. Likewise, I cannot recall anyone who didn’t have wonderful things to say about Oana. Everyone on this planet should endeavor to be even half as good a person as was Oana. Imagine how wonderful this world would be! I deeply regret being so far away at this time, but Sorin and Ali should know that they are in my thoughts.
Roger K. Smith
6/23/2010 11:34:30 AM
I have never seen a woman so full of energy and life. Hardly a day went by without seeing her in the neighborhood, cycling, walking, jogging, or walking their dog. Always had a smile on her face and a friendly wave, even through her difficult times. It was so obvious, the love that was shared, between the whole family. God bless you, Sorin and Alexandra, she is at peace with other angels now.
John Peterson
6/23/2010 10:56:47 AM
There are no adequate words to express my profound sorrow and sympathy. Oana was a great person, and one of my best friends. She will be missed by everyone that ever had the pleasure of meeting her. It saddens me greatly that I will not be able to attend her memorial service, but I will certainly be there in spirit.
Jeff Wythe
6/23/2010 9:48:44 AM
I had the pleasure of working with Oana on many occasions and am a better person for having seen her courage and joy during this last 2 years. I have no comprehension of the pain Sorin, Alexandra, and family is experiencing. All I can say is I'm terribly, terribly sorry for your loss.
Urs Kreuter
6/23/2010 9:31:07 AM
I will always remember Oana as the person in the HFSC Building who always had a smile on her face no matter what was happening to her. Her friendliness and courage are an inspiration and I will miss her greatly. I am honored to have received the ESSM grad teacher award at the same time as Oana received the ESSM undergraduate teacher award. I will aspire to be as great a teacher as Oana was. My thoughts and prayers are with Sorin and Ali. May God's peace be with them.
Megan K. Rooney
6/23/2010 9:19:29 AM
For Alexandra - I am sorry I did not get to know your mother, but if you are any indication of what she was like, I know that we would have been great friends. Please know that I am sincere in saying, I am available if you need me. I lost my mom when I was in my twenties - so I can do more than sympathize.
Ryan Hammons
6/23/2010 9:02:21 AM
Oana was a great lady, and will be very missed. Her enthusiasm for trees inspired me to learn more, and eventually had an influence in completing a Master's degree. I love to see her and Sorin both. They are both great people. I wish Sorin the best of luck in this difficult time. May God be with you and Oana. A great woman.
Theresa Cervantez
6/23/2010 8:49:24 AM
The love between Oana, Sorin and Alex speaks volumes as to how God intended for one to love another. May you find peace in knowing Oana is a rest.
Hermann Family
6/23/2010 12:40:23 AM
All our condolences go out to the Popescu's during this rough time. Please know that you all are loved and we are all here for you.
Clint Hankla
6/22/2010 10:07:09 PM
My deepest condolences to you and your family. I know you have battled and suffered with Oana and I hope you find peace in her rest. We are all so blessed to have known her and I will miss her and our conversations dearly. My prayers are with you. God bless you.

Clint Hankla
Amanda Bryant
6/22/2010 9:13:30 PM
The world has lost an irreplaceable person. Although Oana's lab was probably the hardest college course that I have ever taken, I enjoyed every second of it. I remember tromping across campus attempting to keep up with Oana and her fast paced walk wondering to myself "how in the world does this woman have so much energy?!" I think Oana could have made anyone adore trees with the way she described them as though they were almost magical. I am one of the lucky few to have had Oana as a teacher and I will never forget that knowledge that she has given me. Oana, you will be missed greatly. My thoughts and prayers are with the Popescu family during this time.
Andy Cervantez
6/22/2010 6:31:05 PM
I am very sorry for your loss. And will always remember the sweets she would make during the holidays.
Douglas Deweese
6/22/2010 3:48:18 PM
Oana was one of the brightest individuals I have ever had the pleasure to meet; it was always a joy to attend her lab. It was easy to see how passionate about forestry Oana was, all one had to do was engage in conversation with Oana and she would cheerfully respond. I believe that this is a major loss not only to her loved ones but to the Department as a whole. Oana you will be missed greatly and my condolences to all of Oana’s family.