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Natalia Strelkova

August 28, 1930 October 26, 2018
Natalia Strelkova
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Obituary for Natalia Strelkova

Natalia Strelkova, 88 of Butler, Missouri passed away Friday, October 26, 2018 at her brother's home in Butler. Funeral services will be held 11:00 am Tuesday, November 6, 2018 at Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler (660-679-0009). Visitation will be held prior to the service from 10:00 am to 11:00 am also at the funeral home. Burial will follow in Pleasant Mound Cemetery, Osceola, Missouri. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.mullinaxfuneralhome.com

Natalia Serefimovna Strelkova, noted translator and teacher of translation, Russian to English, died at the Missouri home of her late brother, Theodor Strelkoff. In her last months, she was lovingly cared for by his widow, Cynthia and daughter Galina.
Natalia was the granddaughter of two Russian Orthodox priests and the first born of her parents, Galina Vladimirovna Sakovich and Seraphim Feodorovich Strelkov, both born in Russia. Her mother, Galina, was brought to North America at the age of four; her father, Seraphim, arrived as an immigrant intending to study at the University of California. From the time she was born in Gary, Indiana on August 28, 1930, Natalia lived in two worlds and her course through life was influenced by major social and political events—the Great Depression, the McCarthy era, the post-Stalin thaw in the USSR, and the break-up of the Soviet Union.
In her first fifteen years, the Strelkoff family moved frequently for her father’s opera career, 25 states Natalia claimed, though life in San Francisco accounted for a few of these years. She graduated from Hunter College High School in New York (1948) and spent the following two years taking ballet class and studying drawing and painting. At City College of New York, Natalia took courses in French and English as well as the history of art, and more art classes; she graduated cum laude (1954).
Even before pursuing her college education, her father had started pursuing a new path – returning to Russia. Visits to the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C. during the McCarthy era generated return visits by the FBI. Natalia recalled that this went on for many years.
From1954 – 1956, under the cloud of anti-Russian prejudice, Natalia managed to find high-school teaching jobs: English, French, and Latin in Searspoint, Maine, and then English and science at a private school in Connecticut. During this time, she even coached girls’ basketball. After she and her parents received a visa for the USSR, much hassle from the American government took place, requiring diplomatic intervention by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Soviet Ambassador Georgi Zarubin.
In the Soviet Union Natalia found her English language skills to be of great value. She began her career as translator and editor of Russian to English: for Radio Moscow World Service, as a columnist (“Things Cultural”) for Soviet Life, and briefly much later for the newspapers Literturnaya Gazeta (The Literary Gazette) and Nezavisimaya Gazeta (The Independent). Natalia’s major contribution to the field came with her nearly 25 years at the Maurice Thorez Institute of Foreign Languages teaching at the Graduate School of Translation and Interpreting. She was much valued by colleagues and students.
Soon after Natalia’s arrival in Moscow she met and married Sergei Chulaki, also a translator and the son of the director of the Bolshoi Theater. A son, Ivan, was born in 1958.
After reporting on the “Coup” she and her husband found it necessary to move back to the United States. They first lived in Arizona with her brother and sister in law. She lectured at the International School of Business in Phoenix about “perastaroxa” and the coup. The next years were spent in Alaska, translating for the newly created Shared Beringian Heritage Program in Anchorage and in Barrow. Brief teaching stints followed at Georgetown and American University as well as various translation and court interpreting assignments. Natalia’s teaching and translating experience culminated in the book Introduction to Russian to English Translation (2012).
Most of Natasha’s senior years were spent in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area where she formed close ties with the Russian Orthodox community.
Natalia is survived by her son Ivan, two grandchildren, five first cousins and seven nieces and nephews.




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Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

6

Nov

10:00 AM 11/6/2018 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 11/6/2018 11:00:00 AM
Mullinax Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

10 S. High St.
Butler, MO 64730

Mullinax Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.
10 S. High St. Butler 64730 MO
United States

Funeral Service

Tuesday

6

Nov

11:00 AM 11/6/2018 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 11/6/2018 12:00:00 PM
Mullinax Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

10 S. High St.
Butler, MO 64730

Mullinax Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.
10 S. High St. Butler 64730 MO
United States
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