Being 95 years old and after many years of struggling with dementia, on July 12th, 2020, Elena A. Vasilieva passed away peacefully in her sleep at home, in her room where she had lived the last 30 years. We, her family, thought we were ready for our mother-grandmother-great grandmother dying, but soon after that, we realized that we were not. As one wise friend said: no matter what age we are when both our parents have died, we become orphans. So, she was our last living grandma, and we’ll keep dear Elena in our hearts and prayers and cherish beautiful memories of her.
She was born in Moscow, Soviet Russia, to Olga and Alexey Vasiliev on April 30th, 1925, and she didn’t have siblings. Her life was not easy, like it was for so many Russians who happened to be teenagers during Stalin’s brutal oppressions and WWII. Still, she has been lucky to survive all the hardships and loses and remains in relatively good health. She had a fantastic memory that helped her studies, and she became a medical doctor in health education and hematology.
The first marriage made her a divorcée with a child, and the second a widow. After Elena’s early retirement, she emigrated to America to reunite with her daughter Galina and her family. Before her dementia, she was a very kind and pretty lady. She could speak and write in three languages—Russian, German, and English and loved staying in touch with her many friends across the globe. She also enjoyed reading poetry and memoirs, traveling, and attending church services.
Elena is survived by her daughter Galina Tregubov, her son-in-law V. Rev. Andrew Tregubov, pastor of the Orthodox Church in Claremont, grandson Timothy Tregubov, of Hanover, NH, granddaughter Anna Tregubov-DuMoulin, of Quichee, VT, and great-granddaughter Nika DuMoulin, in addition to a few distant relatives in Russia, Germany, and Israel.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we broadcasted the memorial service on Monday, July 13th. A private burial followed the next day at the Mount View Cemetery. Thank you all for your kind condolences!
"Your cold fingers smell of incense burn,
Your eyelashes sleep in death.
There is nothing now that you want or yearn,
All your pities went with breath.”
(A. Vertinsky, a popular Ukrainian and Soviet chansonnier of the 20th century, whose songs Elena liked to murmur)