Antonina Wasili (Welk) Iwanowa
1920 - October 8, 1998

Limanskoje near Odessa, Ukraine (Odesskaya Oblast, Razdelniyanski Rayon) Former German Catholic village of Selz, South Russia, Kutschurgan District

Antonina, born in the former German village of Selz, Kutschurgan District, and her sister Emilie were few living residents in the village of Limanskoje, Ukraine, who still spoke the Swabish dialect of their German forefathers. Antonina never forgot her German language. She worked for 42 years in the local pharmacy, thus well-known to her town's people.

She was the daughter of Nikifor and Lidia Welk Iwanowa. Her grandfather was Anton Welk; great-grandfather was Anton Welk; and her great-great-grandfather was Moritz Welk. Antonina was married to Wasili, a native of Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia. She was not registered, so she kept her family name, Iwanowa. Antonina's only sister, Emilie, died in 1996 in Limanskoje.

Antonina is survived by one daughter Lidia Iwanowa Karasyova, who lives in the former German Catholic village of Kandel, which today is today Rybalskoja (Odessa Oblast), Ukraine.

Her grandchildren are Andrea, married to Natalia; great-granddaughter, Anatasia; nephews and nieces, Alexander, Lida, Galina, Gregory, Yury, Olga, Lida, and Victor; and grand-nephews and nieces, Helena, Vadim, Oksana, Dmitry, Katherina, Vladimir, Alexander, Sergey, Olga, Vladislav and Gleb.

These are her other family members: Aunt Eugenia's children: Franz, Edward and Emilie; Aunt Margarete; Uncle Joseph's children: Rosa, Helena and Rafael; Uncle Anton's children: Anton and George; Uncle Peter's children: Peter; and Uncle Rochus who was married to Rosa Martin born in Catholic village of Karlsruhe of the Beresan District. On 29 December 1994, Michael M. Miller completed an oral history interview with Rosa Martin Welk in Germany, using German language. Rosa died in November, 1995 at the age of 103.

Her Uncle Joseph was a teacher in the progymnasium in Karlsruhe prior to exile to Siberia in 1945. His children were Rosea, Helena and Rafael. Antonina's Uncle Anton was a violinist; his children were Antona and George. Uncle Peter was a teacher; his children were Peter and three daughters. Uncle Rochus Welk married Rosa, well-commended for her nursing career.

After 1991, when persons were more free to travel to Ukraine and the former German villages near Odessa, Germans and Americans visited Limanskoje (Selz). Often they would be greeted by this vibrant, well-versed and delightful woman - Antonina Iwanowa. It was my privilege to meet Antonina at her home in June of 1994 when I completed a brief oral interview in German.

There was a quick bonding of friendship with these former Kutschurganers of our same heritage, as if we had known each other for a lifetime. My Baumgartner grandparents, Michael and Odellia Wolf Baumgartner lived in the neighboring village of Strassburg before immigrating to Strasburg, North Dakota, in the 1880s.

Antonina became a friend to many members of the Journey to the Homeland tours. Memories of Antonina are shared elsewhere on this page including Faye and Karl Lacher, Roseville, MN who visited Antonina in June, 1996; Mary Lou Mitzel Roller, Hope, ND, and Loretta Mitzel Huschka, LaMoure, ND, who visited Antonina in May, 1997; and Cindy Mitzel Longtin, Fargo, ND, who visited Antonina in May, 1997 and May, 1998. Mary Lou, Loretta and Cindy are Welk relatives to Antonina.

In June, 1996, Most Reverend Joseph Werth, Catholic Bishop of Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia, joined the Journey to the Homeland Tour group. Bishop Werth, Antonina, and tour members held private religious services at the Selz cemetery. Antonina was again able to receive Confession and Holy Communion with Bishop Werth, after fifty years since the early 1940s. Bishop Werth visited his mother's ancestral village of Speyer, Beresan District.

My thanks to Father Thomas Welk, Wichita, Kansas, who provided me with information about Antonina's family from correspondence with her. Antonina was very fond of Father Thomas. My gratitude to Antonina's daughter, Lidia Karasyova, and Dr. Sergey Yelizarov, Odessa, for providing additional information.

Antonina Welk Iwanowa will remain in our hearts and memories.

--- Michael M. Miller

Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller