Lydia Margaret Gladstone died of natural causes at age 87 on March 10, in her home in Woodinville WA, surrounded by her loving family.
Lydia was born on the 8th of October 1933, in Vashkuitzi, Ukraine, to Ana and Stefan Homenko of Bukovina, Romania. In 1942, with the incursion of WW II, the family’s home was seized and they lost everything. The Homenkos were removed and taken to the Nazi Forced Labor Camp Freidburg im Breisgau, then to Bruck an der Mur. Lydia’s father was executed for helping prisoners escape. Lydia and her mother sought refuge in Passau, Germany, in a Displaced Person’s Camp, where Ana died of starvation. Lydia was orphaned at age 13, and continued her schooling at the Convent of Kloster Niedernberg in Passau, Germany. Lydia’s uncle, a Catholic priest in Canada, sponsored Lydia to attend school at St Mary’s Villa Academy in Sloatsburg, New York. Lydia came to America through Ellis Island in 1951. Despite working the night shift at Tuxedo Hospital, Lydia graduated from the Academy with High Honors. On a visit to Seattle to care for an ailing aunt, Lydia met the love of her life, Igor Gladstone Sr. They were married on July 18th, 1954, at St. Spiridon Russian Orthodox Cathedral on Capitol Hill. Lydia was a dedicated wife, mother, and homemaker to her husband and four children.
Lydia’s home was always full of music. She could frolic on the piano for hours, playing Mozart and Chopin, and loved to listen to operas almost daily. As her kids grew, Lydia incorporated the ancient art of Pysanky and traditional Ukrainian patterns into modern-day blankets and designer clothes. Lydia’s business acumen led her to opportunities in selling the famous Swiss Passap knitting machines and high-end designer wools. Lydia helped Igor build four houses, including her favorite house in Roseburg, Oregon. There, Lydia had space and time to embrace her artistic talents as a dyer, painter, and spinner of wool fibers, and ultimately, a master of knitting. Lydia eagerly taught her family the secrets of surrounding oneself with beauty, growing fruits and vegetables, and baking bread and strudel. Lydia’s favorite time of the year was spring, for that is when the garden was prepared, and she could walk barefoot in the warm soil. Lydia was a member of the local Garden Club, and the Umpqua Weavers and Spinners Group. Lydia enjoyed her life, and was often heard saying “We had good times, didn’t we?”
Lydia is survived by her children Igor Jr, Sylvia, Peggy, and Gaylyn; grandchildren Anna, Laura, Alexandra, Arist, Cole, and Stefanie; great-nieces Xenia, Natalka, Nadia, and great-nephews Stefan, Roman, Adrian, and Timon. Lydia is preceded in death by her husband Igor Sr.; mother and father Ana and Stefan Homenko; Uncles Fr. Roman Homenko, and Stefan Nikorowicz; Aunts Sylvia Brodie, Amalia Mardak, and Alma Nikorowicz; and her cousins Stefan Vsewolod and Nikolaus Ljubomer Mardak. A Celebration of Lydia’s Life is planned at her home in September.
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