Aug. 22, 1928 - Jan. 25, 2014
ELKHART — Lidia Dolzan, 85, passed away Saturday, Jan. 25, in Elkhart.
She was born Aug. 22, 1928, to Andrey and Olga (Schtompel) Horbenko near Kremenchuk, Ukraine.
Her family survived the Ukrainian Genocide Famine of the 1930s, during which seven million Ukrainians died because of Stalin’s artificial famine. During World War II, Lidia’s family fled their home in Kremenchuk just before the German warplanes bombed the city. The front lines of the battlefield finally caught up with them; with bombs dropping all around them and encircled by heavy fighting, they somehow miraculously survived.
Later, Lidia spent time in a Nazi concentration camp before being used for forced labor in Vienna. Her youngest sister, Valia, died during this time. Her father, having been used for forced labor in Berlin, managed to reunite with Lidia, her mother and her sister, Tanya, amid the chaos and confusion during the Russian attack on Vienna.
Again, they escaped with their lives and eventually ended up in a displaced persons camp in Germany after the war. Here she met her future husband, Wasyl. They all immigrated to Australia, where Wasyl and Lidia were married in Sydney in 1952. Using her skills as a seamstress, she made her own wedding dress. Their son, Volodia, was born before they immigrated to the U.S. in 1958.
Lidia enjoyed gardening, cooking, reading and traveling. Having personally witnessed so much death and suffering, she felt a strong desire to share her Bible-based hope of a better world. She will also be remembered for her contagious smile, warm, hospitable spirit and generous acts of kindness.
She is survived by her sons, Volodia (Cheryle) Dolzan and Victor Dolzan, both of Elkhart; daughter Loretta (Mark) Ristow of Lafayette; four grandchildren, Natalia, Stephan and Antonio Dolzan and Natasha Ristow; and a sister, Tanya (Silvano) Lievore of Elkhart.
Her husband, Wasyl Dolzan; sister Valia; and her parents preceded Lidia in death.
A memorial service celebrating Lidia’s life will be at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at North Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1921 Jeanwood Drive, Elkhart. Private family burial has taken place in Prairie Street Cemetery.
Billings Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.