August 19, 1921 – October 30, 2019
“Like a blossom that wastes away, and like a dream that passes and is gone, so is every mortal into dust resolved; but again, when the trumpet sounds its call, as though at a quaking of the earth, all the dead shall arise and go forth to meet You, O Christ our God: on that day, O Lord, for her whom You have withdrawn from among us appoint a place in the tents of Your Saints; yea, for the spirit of Your servant, O Christ.” –Liturgical Text of the Orthodox Church.
On Wednesday afternoon (10/30/2019), our Momma and Bapsa passed on into the hands of our Lord. She was a mother of 5—survived by 3, grandmother of 10, great grandmother of 13, and a recently became a great great grandmother to her first great great grandsom Liam. Her life journey was nothing short of remarkable. She was born in a small mining town in the Crimean region of the Soviet Union in 1921, living her early life with her parents, brother and grandmother. During World Word II she was taken from her family by the Nazis and survived the war as a forced laborer and seamstress for the German army. Following the war, she was interned in an American relief camp where she married and became a mother. In 1952, she came to America through Ellis Island with her husband, two small children and a hope for a better life. Her journey in the United States would take her through New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland. She would never go home again.
She was a survivor who believed in hard work and making your own way. She gardened, flipped houses with her husband long before it became fashionable, and continued to make her livelihood as a seamstress. Life was hard in her early days in the US but she quickly found her way nestling into a Russian immigrant community and joining St. Andrew’s Russian Orthodox Church. The church became her bedrock and her family are still parishioners over 50 years later.
She was loved. She was complicated. She was unique. She could never pass up a grocery store sale and had enough nonperishable items at any given moment to impress even the most ardent doomsday prepper. She loved music and cooking and dancing. She hated whistling, pants, and change. Family was her everything. With her children she was short on praise yet full of pride. With her grandchildren she was effusive with loving commentary and encouragement even when she wasn’t physically present. Being American meant cooking pizza on the grill, trading up for nicer and larger houses, and blini with Smucker’s jelly.
She had a presence and grace. Everyone noticed when she walked in the room. She had an attention to detail that set her apart. She could turn a $10 dress into high fashion, and snub her nose at frivolous items that she found both overpriced and unnecessary. She knew she could make any dish or outfit better, nice, cheaper, and longer lasting. Our lives are fuller and better from her love, wisdom, and the stick-to-it-iveness that can only be the result of time-honored Soviet era stoicism. We are both honored to have been a part of her journey and saddened that she is no longer with us. Momma/Bapsa—you are deeply loved and will be forever missed. Say Hi to Uncle Victor, Maria, Tetya Natasha, Mr. Pratt, Ms. Marla, and all those in your circle who preceded you. We are better humans because of you. We are Americans because of you. We have boundless opportunities because of you. Thank you.
Relatives and friends will gather at Miller-Dippel @ Schimunek Funeral Home, Inc., 9705 Belair Rd., Nottingham MD 21236, on Friday, November 1, 2019, from 5-8 p.m., with a Panikhida service at 6:30 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019, 9:30 a.m. at St. Andrew Russian Orthodox Church, 2028 E. Lombard St., Baltimore MD 21231. Interment St. Andrew Russian Orthodox Cemetery.
- Visitation Friday, November 1, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, November 2, 2019
November 2, 2019
You were a tough, strong woman...that is the only way you knew how to survive all the hardship you had to endure.
You will be missed.
Eia, DL, Dawn and Stephanie