Irina Borisovna Drobysheva

Irina Borisovna Drobysheva

July 10, 1949 – August 17, 2016

Irina was born on a sunny Sunday, July 10th, in Berlin, to Borris Nikolaevich Drobyshev and Antonina Evanovna Drobysheva(Krasnova). Both parents survived WW2, met in Germany after the war and married there. They brought her, their first-born child, to Moscow in 1951.

She loved school, where she received a highly cultured education. She loved and craved travel but the first time she was allowed outside the USSR was in 1989, and this was the moment when she realized there was another world than the Soviet Union. The second trip was in 1991, reuniting with her grand-aunt in San Francisco and discovering North America.

In 1994 she moved from Moscow to Salt Spring Island, with her 8-year-old son Vassa. Ever since, she has loved this island and its people, especially how neighbourly and supportive they have been.

Irina was an experienced linguist, but professionally found her options limited on Salt Spring, so she took a course in Home Support which she did here at Malaspina, and at Camosun College.

She started doing home care help in 1995 and then worked with Home Support from 1997 – 2005. She was good at it, loved doing it, and knew she was appreciated. Irina loved people, always, and she may have had a different mentality from a different culture, but love is universal.

Irina Drobysheva leaves to mourn her mom Antonina Drobysheva, 93, of Moscow; her children Vassa Drobyshev, daughter Olga Demyanova, son-in-law Vasily Demyanov and grandsons Lev and Peter, of Edinburgh. She also leaves her lifelong friends, Ylena and Yves Gurvich of Moscow, Galina Filatova of Moscow, Gregory Nersesyan of Connecticut, and Alla Shnirelman of Québec. She also made many friends on Salt Spring in her years here: among them her close friend Usha Rautenbach; a lady who knows plenty of languages including Russian, and speaks it, Andrea Rankin; and ‘real Russian aristocracy’ Vera Kononoff. She also leaves her colleagues from Home Support, Jean Southgate and Suzanne Winters.

She is very grateful to the doctors she met who have kept her alive since 2005; Dr. Graham, brilliant surgeon Dr. Roy Preshaw, Dr. Haansie de Kock, doctors Jason Hart, oncologist from the Cancer Clinic in Victoria, and Dr. Ron Reznik who kept her alive for the last 6 years ‘artificially’, giving her the last 6 years of her life; and Dr. Butcher and Dr. Crichton during her final stay in Lady Minto Hospital.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Cancer Research Society or Lady Minto Hospital, are greatly appreciated.

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