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.