OBITUARY

Galina Leksina

March 10, 1945May 13, 2019

Galina Leksina, 74, of Houston, Texas, passed away May 13, 2019. She was born in Korolev (Kaliningrad), Moscow Region, Russia, on March 10, 1945 to Olga Vasilyevna and Sergey Mikhailovich Yermolayev. She was married to Vladislav Leksin for 25 years.

Galina had a career in electrical engineering at the Central Science and Research Institute of Industrial Engineering in Korolev, Moscow Region, Russia. She had a passion for music, ballet and art.

She loved to read and to spend time with her family, especially her grandchildren, Alexandra and Genevieve, and her favorite dog, Jessie.

She was preceded in death by her father, Sergey Mikhailovich Yermolayev; her mother, Olga Vasilyevna Yermolayeva; and her sister, Svetlana.

She is survived by daughter, Elena Vladislavovna Lexina and her family; and her brother Victor.

Galina was born in Korolev, near Moscow, as World War II was ending, and grew up in Soviet Russia. She was the middle child in a family of 3 kids.

As a young girl she learned to play piano, which developed into her lifelong appreciation of music, art and theater. She really enjoyed ballet, and as the story goes, she was offered a training opportunity at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy, but had to turn it down because her parents did not have the means to help her pursue it.

She always had a goal to receive higher education and obtained a degree in Electrical Engineering, since, at the time, engineering was a promising professional field. Upon receiving her degree, she worked at the Central Science and Research Institute of Industrial Engineering in Korolev, the institute well known by its Russian acronym, “TsNIIMash”.

She married Vladislav Leksin at 21 and had one daughter, Elena, who she loved and cared for deeply. She was a wonderful mother who actively supported all of Elena's activities and pursuits, as well as the whole community. To this day, Elena's friends refer to her as their "second mother". After a long marriage, she divorced from her husband and raised Elena with the help of her own mother, Olga Vasilyevna. She was ultimately forced to stop working due to a heart attack at the very young age of 59. She nonetheless continued with the devoted care of her mother, who sadly passed away in 2009.

She loved to spend time in the countryside at the family dacha where they grew apples, plums, strawberries, beans, squash, flowers, and many other kinds of vegetables and berries that were harvested and preserved every year to be served at the family table as lovely jams and pickled delicacies. One year, a prized squash and pumpkin were exhibited in Moscow at the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy (VDNKh). She had a particular fondness for roses, which were her mother's favorite flower, and such a battle to grow in Russia, but delightfully easy in Texas.

Galina loved to travel any chance she had — by bus, boat, and train all over Eastern Europe, and together with Elena, to Australia, France, and many places in the U.S. and Canada.

Galina visited Texas often. This started after Elena married a Canadian transplant, Brian Rishikof, in Houston, and she became a “babushka” (grandmother). Babushka loved being Babushka and wanted to spend as much time as she could with her granddaughters, Alexandra and Genevieve (Gigi) — Sasha and Zhenia — and to spoil them, especially with Russian candies and treats, and homemade “borsch”, “ploff”, “yozhiki" and "salat Olivier." She also loved to help the girls with their music, spending countless hours at the piano “making" them learn to play. She enthusiastically supported all their activities and was proud to watch them perform at concerts, recitals, and ballet every time.

She also gained a wonderful new companion here in Houston, our rescue dog, Jessie. This was her first pet. They shared a special bond and enjoyed spending their mornings in the backyard sharing a coffee and banana.

Galina recently became a U.S. permanent resident and had plans to stay with the family to support her granddaughters and watch them grow up.

Galina’s nature was always to put others first and to offer help in any way she could. We will miss her kindness, her smile, her gentle guidance, her patience, and her love.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Galina’s memory with a donation to the American Heart Association or the Houston SPCA.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, May 19, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Sunday, May 19, 2019
  • Reception Sunday, May 19, 2019

Memories

Galina Leksina

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Natalie Linde

May 19, 2019

Galina Sergeevna touched my heart in so many ways. I met her multiple times, and each time she would always have something kind to say. Last summer in LA, there was a specific memory I had where we just walked and talked, and she contemplated life. She loved the world around her and told me she would try and give as much back as she could. She never asked for anything back, just tried to love the blessed world as much as she could. She was sweet and generous and always knew how to cheer everyone up. She worked hard to learn everything she could and was supportive to everyone in every way. She certainly deserves the best moving forward, and is looking after her family, making sure they carry on with the kindness she taught them to use.

Svetlana Linde

May 19, 2019

Lenochka,

This is so hard to put in words all the sadness our family feels about the passing of your Mother. We have fondest memories of her since the first day we met her in Korolev. When we met her to give her your presents and pick up presents for you, Galina Sergeevna talked about all of you with so much love and she was so very nice and welcoming to Natalie, my mother, and I. With years passing by she became a very dear friend to my mother and a warm, understanding and wise close family friend for us. Galina Sergeevna touched our lives in so many ways that we will always remember and really miss her. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Yuliya Boedeker

May 19, 2019

Lena,

I know what a difficult time it is for you now. Galina was such a sweet and kind lady, great babushka, and I will always remember her for positive energy, love to all of us, and a beautiful smile that she always displayed. By reading your memory, now I know where you, got your love for music, art, and ballet. I think your mother’s greatest legacy will be in Sasha and Gigi, she was so very proud of them.
I hope that you will find the inner strength to get you through this sad and difficult time.
You have my very deepest and sincere sympathy.

Yuliya

Natalja Luzan

May 19, 2019


Dear Lena, Brian, Alexandra and Genevieve,

My mom and I feel so fortunate to have known Galina and extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family. She was such a sweet, motherly and incredibly kind lady. We always admired her tireless energy - she was participating in all kids events, in all celebrations, in all travels - nothing ever seemed to slow her down. Galina and my mom were making plans to get together just this week after my mom got back to US. I think your mother's greatest legacy will be in the wonderful children and grandchildren that she raised. She was so very proud of all of you. We will always remember her beautiful smile, and warmth and light that she emitted to everyone around. We will treasure memories of our meetings and conversations we had with Galina.
May you find peace and comfort in knowing that your grief is shared by so many. Galina will be sorely missed.

Natalja and Galina Luzan

TYGCS Yang

May 19, 2019

Dear Lena, Brian, Alex, and Gigi:

It was an honor for us to have known your mother/grandmother. She was very dear to us. We treasured the times she came over for dinner while you were away. She talked fondly of you and was very proud of you all. You were her pride and joy. We loved her borsch (beet soup) and ploff (chicken and rice). Galina was an amazing woman with many talents and we will miss her smile and kindness.

Love,
Yang Family

Елена Буркова

May 19, 2019

Дорогая Лена и вся твоя семья!
Примите мои самые искренние соболезнования.
Я помню тетю Галю с моих визитов в твой дом в Королёве, на твою семейную дачу и в твоём доме в Техасе.
Всегда спокойная, милая, вежливая и улыбающаяся, дарящая свою любовь и заботу всем с кем пересеклись ее пути.
Я переживаю с вами всеми вашу утрату. Слова могут выразить только часть того, что чувствует душа.
Пусть ваши светлые и тёплые воспоминания о Ней навсегда пребудут с вами и согреют вас в это трудное время и будут дарить любовь всю вашу жизнь.
Целую вас всех.

David Rishikof

May 18, 2019

Lena,
Babushka, Babushka, or Babushka? We never seemed to get the emphasis on the right syllables. We enjoyed the times we spent with her. She had a kind and gentle manner - always smiling, always accommodating. We are so sorry about your loss. To all of you in Texas, Love from your Massachusetts family Bonnie, David, Jared, Lucas, Benjamin.

Stefan Rishikof

May 18, 2019

Dear Lena, Brian, Alexandra and Genevieve

During my recent visit to Houston as all my other visits it was always Galina that was the first to greet me at the house. She always gave me a warm hug and a kiss and said "welcome". After I brought in all my stuff, I asked if she would be making shchi during my stay and she said of course. I really liked that soup but I liked Galina more! Galina was also the carpool lookout for the girls. I found it funny that she would announce when the cars arrived in the early morning. Often she would have to repeat her announcement several times. My usual routine was to join Galina for breakfast by the pool. We would try to have a conversation with me doing google translate to converse. It was always fun and we did manage to make each other understood. Galina adored the girls and in every conversation she would say how proud she was of both. After breakfast, when I left to play golf, I would always ask her to join but she just gave me one of those motherly type of rolling her eyes look. I got those looks often from her! Galina played a big role in the house and she will be missed. To Lena, Brian, Alexandra and Genvieive my condolences and may all the memories be a comfort. Much love Stefan.

Brian Bronfman

May 18, 2019

In happier times, getting ready to watch the girls tubing in Cantley... proud Babushka!

Brian Bronfman

May 18, 2019

Dear Lena, Alexandra, Gigi and Brian,
We are saddened to learn of Babooshka's passing. We were blessed to have spent some wonderful moments with her in Cantley. We enjoyed watching her proudly prepare Russian food for our delight (it remains the only time Brian has really eaten and enjoyed herring... and Danielle couldn't get enough!) It was also heartwarming to see her beam with love and pride as she watched the girls play together. The love and joy that she projected was infectious; her profound love of each and every one of you was beautiful to behold. May the warm memory of this wonderful mother, grandmother and mother-in-law be of comfort in this difficult time and for years to come...
xo, Marcia, Brian and Natasha