Tuesdays with Moisi

The Memorial Service.

Family and friends gathered to remember and comfort one another.

Our brother Tim welcomed everyone and started our time off well with scripture and a prayer.

Granddaughters Debbee and Katie read Pop’s eulogy and Melissa read a special tribute she wrote. Our sister Lana read Psalm 103 in English after we shared a recording of our Pop reciting the Psalm from memory in Russian. Interesting note: Psalm 103 in the English Bible is Psalm 102 in the Russian Bible. Here are the first couple verses in Russian and English.

Прославь, душа моя, Господа!

Господи, мой Боже, Ты очень велик,
    Ты облачен в славу и величие.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!

 

Our sister Kathy, her husband Len and their daughter Michelle sang a trio of the one song our pop requested be sung at his funeral, Shine on Us.

Our brothers, Steve and Leonard, gave the message from Lamentations and other scripture. We lamented and we rejoiced.

Some of Dzeda’s Grandsons were the Pall Bearers.

Andrew, who you see at the back of the casket is our youngest nephew and Pop’s youngest grandson. From here we would travel to the graveside.

I’m copying and pasting our pop’s eulogy here. Dzeda is what his grandchildren called him, short for Dzedushka, grandfather in Russian.

Moisey (Moses/Moisi/Morris) Timofeyovich Bagdanov was born May 25th, 1923 to Timofey Fedotovich and Martha Ivanovna (Susoeva) Bagdanov in the small village of Salim outside of Rostov on Don in Rostovski Oblast, Russia. He was one of the twelve children. In 1932, the political situation in the young communist regime worsened for farmers and believers. His father was one of the 9 leaders of villages who went to Turkey and Persia (now Iran) to ask if they would be willing to take Russian refugees. Turkey said no but Iran was willing to allow them into their country.   He could not return to Russia for fear of imprisonment so he stayed in Iran leaving our great grandmother to fend for herself and their10 children. They waited for couriers to escort them under cover of night for their escape. After 3 attempts the rest of the family would escape to Iran in 1933, reuniting with their father and other Russian refugees. Dzeda had so many harrowing stories of survival, tragedy and deliverance and we all grew up hearing about God’s faithfulness and provision. Persia is where he would grow up and at a young age begin to work, be it farming, delivery boy or even washing the Shah’s car.  This young boy became a young man of marrying age. It was at this time that a girl came to his village where her aunt and grandmother lived. He caught a glimpse of her and knew that she was the one who he was going to marry. This girl was Nadzheda Fyodorovna Shvetzova, a young Baptist girl. They were married September 13,1943 in Rahmanabad, Iran. Together they would defy all odds in their 70 year marriage.

In 1944, Kathy #1 was born and the first of many hardships and heartaches would occur when she died sometime after her second birthday in 1946 from dysentery. Dzeda not only gets to be reunited with Babushka but with his sweet daughter. Then came Kathy #2, the Kathy you all know today. In 1947 they moved again to a country they did not know, with very little money, few skills, a culture and language they would have to learn but with hope and promise of freedom. They stepped into the unknown to make their home and raise a family. America! They left Iran September 3, 1947 on a Red Cross plane from Tehran to Cairo to Rome, to London where they wouldn’t let them off the plane so they were diverted to Ireland. After spending the night they continued to Iceland then Greenland and landed in New York on September 6th and got to Los Angeles by train, September 12, 1947.

During all this travel babushka was pregnant. Vera was their first child born in the US in 1948. Fred was born in 1949 and then Ellen in 1951. After a 7 year break, Tim was born in 1958 followed by Steve in 1959 and then Lana and Leonard in 1963. Although life as immigrants was new and tough, his approach was always positive with a can do attitude which he put to full use working up to three jobs at a time to not only pay off the cost of immigrating but to provide for his family. Within 6 years he was able to buy his first house in Montebello Gardens.

Dzeda had an incredible work ethic. He was dependable, reliable, conscientious and relentless in getting the job done. These were the qualities he embodied and instilled in all of his kids  – to do your best. The other quality he had was integrity – we can all say integrity and doing the right thing was the guide and gauge he lived by even before he was a believer. All the while Babushka persevered in praying for Dzeda’s salvation. Her prayer was answered in 1963 when Billy Graham came to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for a crusade. Our Aunt Ellen recalls, “I was in the eighth grade and attended the crusade every night with my father. I’ll never forget the night my dad got out of his seat and made the long walk down to the field to acknowledge God’s call on his life. What a glorious day!” It was not only a day of celebration but also a time when lives were forever changed.

Becoming a believer came at a high cost for Dzeda. Family and friends would question his decision and many ostracized him calling him a traitor from the tradition he grew up in. Because of that we learned what true courage and sacrifice looked like to follow Christ. Dzeda never stopped honoring his Molokan Father and Mother. Dzeda loved his Molokan, brothers and sisters and prayed for them often and loved to share the Good News with them and what freedom in Christ looked like and could be. He also loved fellow believers at Bethany Baptist Church and encouraged them often not only through bible studies and sharing what God was teaching him but even pastoring a small congregation of Russian believers in Santa Ana. He was always in God’s Word, talking with Babushka about what he was preparing and most of all  – praying. You could walk by their bedroom and see both Dzeda and Babushka on their knees praying and hearing your name.

In 1990, when they were in their seventies, our grandparents returned to Russia for the trip of a lifetime visiting the villages they were born in and reconnecting with family. Little did we know that this would be the start of a new chapter for both of them as missionaries going back and forth taking money to churches to build buildings to meet in. Dzeda calculated that they had taken almost $200,000 in the 11 trips they made in the 90’s. Then in 1998 they decided to sell their house and move there where they started a Bible study and then a church in the village where some of our relatives still live. Dzeda baptized many and God used him to bring hope and salvation to that little community.

 

Dzeda loved God and taught all of us the fear of the Lord. He loved God’s Word and up until the beginning of this year he read it daily. Consistently reading his Bible – daily! He probably read the Bible all the way through at least 20 times. And as you saw in the video earlier he had so much of it memorized. If you started a passage for him he would be able to finish it by memory. He would remind himself of God’s truth even in the long days that remained of his life after Babushka died in 2013. He encouraged all of us to do the same.  He missed our babushka terribly and tried to live alone but soon needed extra care and attention so Aunt Kathy and Uncle Len offered him a room and companionship in their home and it became his home where he lived out his days and died surrounded by Len, Kathy and Melissa, his angel as he called her. We are all so grateful to them for their devotion in honoring our Dzeda.

We could not be more excited for Dzeda – he is now in heaven! God heard his prayer and answered it  – He waited upon the Lord and the Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him. As it says in 2 Corinthians: “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” Dzeda is now living by sight at home with the Lord – His prayer was finally answered.

If you leave here remembering anything that is said today – remember this – He would want you to know the good news of the Gospel – that Jesus Christ came to this world to die on the cross for your sins and that if you believe in Him you will have eternal life – a life in heaven, whatever the cost  – it’s worth it!

Thank you for coming today to help us honor and celebrate the life of our Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, Uncle and friend, to support us – but most of all to thank the Lord for a life redeemed and well lived and to be reminded that eternal life means that there is more life to come after we die, a life characterized by the resurrection life and body of Jesus Christ, as James 1:12 says: “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

 

Tuesdays with Moisi

I have a lot I want to share on my blog about my dear old Pop and his story. He was known as…Moisey (Moses/Moisi/Morris) Timofeyovich Bagdanov. For a time I will post part of my Pop’s story on Tuesdays. Every Tuesday was my day to call Pop and touch bases with him. For this first Tuesday I’m starting with our goodbyes to him on this earth. This was his viewing at Rose Hills on Thursday evening July 19, 2018.

Many friends and family were able to come and go over a 4 hour period. It was good to see and catch up with those we haven’t seen  since our mom’s funeral.

The casual service ended up being a hymn sing with requests from the friends and family who came. Our brother in law, Len, led the singing. It was so good to sing those great old hymns with true words that resonate today.

Some of our girls and nieces.

My sister Lana read this portion from the Bible that was referenced on this puzzle our Pop put together in his last years. These are his hands.

Exodus 15:2 The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation;
this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God and I will exalt him.”

Next Tuesday will be a photo overload from the funeral service, graveside service and reception.

Onward…

Our third container made it’s way to the yard on Monday morning. The sign was taken down Monday afternoon. We spent the night at our kids’ home north west from us. Drove over to the old house to empty out the freezer and hand over the keys on Tuesday. Our agent brought us some nice gifts and we said our goodbyes to the house. We still have exclusive access to our 44′ x 24′ shop till the end of August which is a blessing to us for sure. The heat wasn’t as bad today as yesterday which was a relief. Tomorrow we head to Colville to look at 7 houses. Maybe we’ll be able to put an offer on one of them. Time will tell. Hopefully cooler days will prevail over there, too.

This was a fun photo that popped up on Facebook from my niece Michelle taken at our Pop’s viewing.

My grandniece Avery, our grand Addy and our youngest niece, Hope. Addy really bonded with Hope. When Hope was around I was chopped liver. 🙂 It’s fun to see how little ones light up and enjoy the younger set.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your prayers and thoughts and encouragement during this season of upheaval in our day to day life.

Camping at Home…

We are down to a two person section of our couch and a mattress on our basement floor at this old house. We still have our patio furniture on the deck so we have a table to eat at. It’s like camping around here with just a few essentials for everyday living. Once the TV and mattress are loaded we will move into son #1’s home.

From there we will make trips to son #2 for house hunting.

While we are here daughter and son in law are helping us prepare for our move along with son #1 and daughter in law.

The plus side of our mattress being moved down to the basement is how nice and cool it is down there compared to our upstairs bedroom. Cooler, darker and quieter. We’ve had several days of hot hot weather here in the Seattle area. The hottest day is suppose to be on Sunday. So thankful and grateful for our kids and how helpful they are and for our friends who have helped us out, too. Looking forward to cooler days next week!

 

Friends

img615My flashback this week is all about friends and family in Persia in the late 30’s and in the 40’s. These two friends got into trouble for applying lipstick before they took this photo. My mother on the left and our friend who we always called Aunt Zena on the right.

funeral007-002The same friends over 60 years later in California. Aunt Zena on the left and my mom on the right.

Most of the people in the following photos immigrated to the U.S.A. from Persia. Unfortunately my maternal grandfather died before he could immigrate. My maternal grandmother came to the states as a widow.

img594My mom is sitting down on the left. I need help identifying the other girls in this photo. I think some are Katkovs and the girl on the left is Vera (Leleland). Hopefully someone who sees my post that knows our extended family and friends can help me out with some names.

img617This is my mom on the left, her sister who died young, and her brother Paul.

img613My mom and my Uncle Paul

img596My mom and her cousin Luba

img595My mom on the right with her cousin Luba on the left and the two gals in the middle are Vera Leleland and Lyda Hamzaeff (married last names).

img589Nicolai, Aunt Nina, my mom and Uncle Paul

img588The Katkov and Shvetzov families in Persia. My parents and sister had left Persia already for America. My maternal grandfather is sitting on the right next to my maternal grandmother with my cousin Alex standing between them.

img592My Uncle Paul’s wedding day with my Aunt Nina and her family and friends. All the people in this photo are single except for my aunt and uncle. It was a tradition for the bride and groom to take a photo with their single guests and family.

Here we are in March already. We’re fighting off a cold bug at this old house. Dear is down for the count and I hope I don’t have to join him.

Have a good week everyone!

In Memory of…

226880_1077708471220_5125_n

In Memory of Nadia Bagdanov

April 8, 1924 – September 13, 2013

Services:

These words were penned by Nadia’s granddaughter Melissa:

If I said that facing the impending death of someone as amazing as my grandma was hard, that would be an understatement. It doesn’t matter how much you try to prepare yourself because the truth is, you’re never really ready to face such a great loss…

As I sit here trying to process it all, her life, her death, the amazing gift of even being able to call her my grandma, the reality of having to live the rest of my life on this earth without her, I find myself overwhelmed at God’s love, His goodness and His perfect timing. Many of you who knew Baba know that she was a very strong, very stubborn woman and she demonstrated that until the very end. The doctors gave her less than week to live, but she and her stubbornness proved them wrong and instead, she lived almost 2 months. Because of that, my family was given a very special gift, a long goodbye…the opportunity to spend precious time with her all the while knowing that every goodbye could be our very last…until it finally was.
1278116_10202231679699284_1023681358_o
I know her memory will live on…we’ll be able to hear her critiquing our varenyiki every Christmas from now on (we promise not to make them look like slugs, Baba…we’ll aim for 5+’s now more than ever ), we’ll still be able to hear her snarky remarks during Dzeda’s speeches before family meals, and her telling us to love each other…something she did so well.

Until we see her again, we mourn our great loss but celebrate her GREAT gain. I have no doubt she heard the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful, servant’ when she entered the presence of her Savior this morning. She truly was an incredible example…an example whose footsteps have been etched so deeply in my life and heart. She will forever be one of my greatest role models and inspirations and I feel so blessed to be part of such an amazing legacy.
But words cannot even begin to express how much I will miss her…
I love you SO much, Baba

IMGP9094

IMGP9112

Please leave any comments here and I will be sure to pass them on to my Dad.  I am sure he would love to hear words of encouragement or remembrance from you.  Mom loved Jesus and was confident in her last days.  She loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.  She will be missed and her words will encourage us for years to come.  The Bagdanov family was blessed by God to have Nadia as our Mom.

IMGP9717

I copied this post and information from my brother’s blog. If you live in Southern California feel free to attend my mom’s memorial service. We would be happy to welcome you and see you. I will be away from the computer for the next few days…

Sophie Wozniuk ~ December 25, 1913-July 9, 2009

 

What a wonderful celebration of Sophie’s life we had at her funeral on Wednesday. Sophie is my oldest sister Kathy’s MIL. Kathy and her husband Len cared for her for several years right up to her death last Thursday night. Sophie was a spunky hard working lady. She has 3 daughters Lil, Laureen, Ruth and one son, my BIL Len. Len charged us from the beginning of the memorial service that we were going to rejoice with his mom who was finally in heaven. Sophie loved her Savior Jesus Christ.  Heaven was her theme and desire for the last 20 years. This last year it became her daily prayer to God, for Him to please take her home.

 

Len and my sister sang a duet in Russian and English. Len’s sisters Ruth and Laureen, 2 of my sisters Kathy and Lana G, my niece Michelle, and an lifetime friend Diane sang a sextet of Psalm 121 put to music. My father gave a word from Micah. My nieces shared some stories about their Baba. The oldest grandson Phil (Lil’s Son) read her Eulogy. Another Grandson Greg (Laureen’s son) spoke of remembrances of her and read her favorite Psalm 121. My brother Steve spoke and wove a wonderful message about Sophie’s Song using some great old hymns and referencing the songs of women in the Bible.

 

 

Len was our choir director at Bethany Baptist Church in L.A. (A Russian Baptist Church) many years ago and we were led in song again by him at the funeral. It was a great reunion of so many of our Russian friends and relatives who have all gone their separate ways. Fun times looking at a face we recognized but forgetting the name attached to it. Wozniuks, Semenchuks, Leonovich, Katkovs,  Menns, Bagdanovs, Titovs, Shvetzovs, Kudraves, Kaluzny, Goncharenko, Rudametkin, Kowalski, Wlasiuk, Poulsons, Kuzichev, Moure, Philipchuk and more.  We sang at the service, we sang at the graveside and we kept singing at the dinner reception afterwards.

 

My nieces are trying to sneak a photo of me taking photos but I caught them!

 

All Sophie’s grandchildren that were at the funeral released a balloon for her…

 

My niece Michelle with her husband Ryan and their son Jackson. Doesn’t she look so cute pregnant. They are expecting a little baby girl in September. I got my sister Lana G! to pause a moment to get a photo taken with Michelle. The case that this bouquet of flowers are in belonged to Sophie’s husband Tony.

 

My cousin Jim and his wife my friend Jeaneen and my friend Heidi and her husband Ken. Heidi and I met and became friends at the Russian Baptist church. I met Jeaneen in college and introduced her to my cousin Jim.

 

Shirley, Bobbi and their mom Nura Menn. Shirley is another one of my buddies from the Baptist church. Her mom Nura is my Aunt Nina’s sister. Phil Semenchuk (Phil’s mom is one of Sophie’s daughters) with his fiance Anna. Milla and Susie. Milla’s father was our aunt Nina’s brother. Milla’s parents were friends with my parents in Iran and remained close when they both immigrated to the U.S.A. Milla’s sister Tamera was at the funeral, too, but I didn’t get a good photo of her. We always called their parents aunt and uncle.

 

My brothers Steve and Fred with my sister Lana G!  This is the very first current photo you’ve seen on my blog of my brother Fred. I was happy to see him at the funeral.

 

My brother Fred and my cousin Jim with my nieces, nephews and SIL Kelly in the background.

 

My partner in travel and crime in my early college years…

 

 

My cousin Jim, sister Kathy, brother Fred, sister Vera, our Aunt’s niece Milla, ellen b, my sister Lana G!, and my brother Steve.

 

Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Lana, and Steve. (Tim and Leonard are the two siblings missing in this photo)

I have found that people are so loving and attentive at funerals. It’s as if our mortality sinks in for a time and we take care to let each other know that we love them and care for them. It truly was a great time of reunion for me. We ended our time by singing  “God be with you till we meet again”

Photobucket is holding all my photos that I stored on their site from 2007-2015 hostage replacing them with ugly grey and black boxes and asking for a large ransom to retrieve them. It is a slow process to go through all my posts deleting the ugly boxes.