Inna I. OrlovskyApril 14, 1926 ~ February 12, 2017 (age 90)
A great lady and a great American, Inna I. Orlovsky of Middle Road, Dresden, passed away on February 12, 2017. Born in the former USSR on April 14, 1926, to Ilya N. Sawitski and Vera N. Sawitski (née Grodzitzki), she lived with her parents and two sisters, Ludmila and Olga, under the cruel yoke of Stalin’s communism until 1941, when Nazi forces invaded and occupied their country and her town. In 1943 she and her family escaped the Soviet Union as the Germans exported entire families to Germany to work as forced labor. Here, Inna worked to keep the family clothed and fed and she interpreted for her parents. After Allied forces liberated Germany, she worked in the French Zone of Occupation as an administrative secretary for the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) and its successor the International Refugee Organization (IRO), where Inna aided countless refugees to start a new life in countries that opened their doors to them following the end of WWII. Here she continued to develop her ability to speak several languages with ease, as she helped refugees, or “displaced persons” as they were called back then, to escape involuntary “repatriation” back to the Soviet Union. Having survived invasion, occupation, hunger and privation, in 1947 Inna lost her younger sister, Olga, to polio in two days. She met her future husband, Vladimir (Walter) in Germany at that time.
As the primary breadwinner and translator for the family, on May 9th, 1950, Inna and her parents saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time as their transport ship arrived in their new home, the U.S.A. Inna began working at a sewing factory and later taught Russian and German at the Berlitz School of Languages. She married and began her life with Vladimir on November 18, 1951.
The Orlovsky family worked hard and flourished, welcomed children, Vera and Alexey, into the world and bought a home of their own in Hawthorne, New Jersey. In 1966, Inna and Walter, the kids, the cat and the dog, moved to Bath, Maine making a home there for 15 years. While raising her family, Inna also worked for the Canal Bank, the Canterbury Shop, and a fuel company, where she made countless connections with everyone. She continued to teach Russian privately.
With the children grown, Walter and Inna built their own house on their own 50 acres in Dresden and moved there in 1981. As she loved to put it, “We just had fun playing in the dirt”, as they tended their gardens, chickens and trees. They lived happily together, contributing to the community and made countless new friends.
Some seek the American Dream. Inna lived it. She was a friend to everyone she met. She possessed a gift of forging a unique and personal connection with everyone she encountered, and generously shared her rich and fascinating life stories and insights. She will be greatly missed by all who were blessed to know her.
Inna was preceded in death by her loving and devoted husband, Walter, who passed away on December 25, 1999. She is survived by her daughter, Vera Herath (John Behle), of Maryland; son, Alexey (Trish), of Massachusetts; grandchildren Captain Laura Schuessler, USN (Donnie); Linda Bilbo; Nika (Patrick) Orlovsky; Natalia (David) Holcomb; and Elias Orlovsky; and great-grandchildren Emily and Michael Schuessler and Jacob and Jordan Bilbo.
Visitation and prayer will be held on Friday, February 17, 2017, from 1-2:30 pm at David E. Desmond Funeral Home, 638 High St., Bath ME 04530. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Inna’s memory to the Maine chapter of the American Heart Association, 51 US Rt 1, Suite M, Scarborough, ME 04074, or to CHANS Home Health and Hospice Care, 60 Baribeau Drive, Brunswick, ME 04011. To express your thoughts and condolences to the family please visit www.desmondfuneralhomes.com