Diana Dvorkina memory

Memory is a wonderful gift. Through it we can rehearse and relive the countless moments and experiences shared with one we loved so dearly. Each of us, whether we knew Diana incidentally or intensely, is blessed with the ability to recount our experiences with her.


(for Diana Dvorkina Fund) 
999 S.Clermont Street, 4th floor, 
Glendale, CO 80246 

A death sets everything in motion
And leads us all to find out:
Peoples estrangements
And devotions,
And who among us makes the planet proud
And then it all becomes illuminated
Sets slaves from nobles
Gold from tin.
If everything by death were terminated
We would not bother to begin

Leonid Martinov.

Translated by Boris Gendelev


No single worldly thing is everlasting 
The flowers bloom, then blizzards rage
Through conquered eons we are passing
Disdaining ravages of age

We are born to give Eternity a service
We, human beings, inhabitants of Earth
And those who lived a shining life among us
Continue to live in spite of death

Without rain the rivers will dry out
Without sun the flowers will not bloom
If we dont have a kind soul about
There wouldnt be a life, but only gloom

To all of us, from Russian soil pariahs,
So helpless in this vast and foreign land
Appeared Dina Dvorkina - messiah
Sent to extend to us a helping hand

A magnet, to the library she drew us
We were privileged to form such a connection!
As an oasis for those thirsting Goodness,
A wellspring of compassion and affection

What is a person?  A dust speck in the Cosmos?
A particle for winds to blow around?
No.  A fountain of Enlightenment and utmost
Strength and Greatness with no bounds

Not on Gods mission from the after-world
She served the living to the very end
Now that shes gone beyond Earths threshold
The grief in our hearts will not relent

Her souls bright burning and undying flames
Left an unerasable and everlasting mark
In each of us a part of her remains
And nothing will extinguish Dinas spark

I have a journal; there is a note there 
A note written in her own hand
Now its a memory of her loving care
That all who knew her felt firsthand

In everything she was extremely modest
And recognition she did not seek out
But she possessed a soul of rare greatness,
Which only among saints can be found

She is a saint; there isnt any doubt
By anyone whom Dinas care graced
And the amazing work she carried out
From our memories will never be erased

Life gives us good times and it also tests us
Sometimes it takes a very cruel turn
And into our homes despair enters
And we cant see beyond our concern

When you are down, when the times are trying
When the ground under you begins to slip
Remember Dina - no complaints or crying
And gloom and fear will loosen their grip 

Her kindness will flow with potency re-doubled
To fill your life with warmth and glow
She had the strength for all of our troubles
A great example we were privileged to know

She taught us patiently and so very tactfully
To show respect and love to every person
To be enlightened and to live in harmony
Whose own life could be a better lesson?

She should have lived past 100 in vitality
If we had saved her from death so callous
But she is gone, Gone into immortality
For all we thank you, Dina, and forgive us


Translated by Boris Gendelev


Who is she?

From Colorado press

Librarian friendly force for refugees GLENDALE -
The demure Soviet librarian Diana Dvorkina checks out books slowly
because she knows her Russian-speaking readers have dozens of questions.
She has their confidence, having survived 18 months in this strange land. When Soviet refugees feel lost, or miss the intimate con- versation of the Moscow kitchen, they go to Glendale Public Library.
The 36-year-old mother of two can console them with books by Nabokov and Solzhenitsyn, which have been difficult to get in the Soviet Union.
Then Dvorkina can tell them how she hoarded potatoes and apples, too, when she first went shopping in America, and how sometimes "it's easier to be hungry than see all of this food."
She can explain resumes and job interviews, even give her home phone for medical emergencies. Dvorkina doubles as refugee caseworker for the Colorado Department of Health, helping impoverished refugees find downtown clinics such as Planned Parenthood.  In the Soviet Union, she was a librarian in a reading room for shoe factory workers. Then she trudged to a bus bound for shops that often were empty. She would wait in lines for food, then trudge back to another bus, a bag in each hand, and squeeze between other passengers similarly bored by a deadening sameness.'
"You come home and you are going to die. You are tired. And you wake up and it is the same. I felt like I was 60. You know it is the same, tomorrow, the day after."
The Dvorkinas lived in the Byelorussia region, downwind of Chernobyl, where a nuclear power plant suffered a meltdown April 26, 1986. It was a hot day, and Dvorkina's children were playing outside, when a friend tele- phoned from a radiology lab to say, "Be careful. Something is wrong."
Dvorkina began bundling her children "like ca,bbages" and closing the windows to keep out drafts of bad air. Chernobyl, she says, is the main reason she and her husband fled. She is bitter about a Communist system in which few people seem to care. "We have a joke. If you cannot work, you will be the boss. If you cannot work at all, you will be the big boss."
Yet Dvorkina fears the struggle for pros perity in Aft.1erica may be equally hard.

-Bruce Finley

Russian library aids immigrants Glendale facility called
I 'big help' to emigres

Natalie Soto

-Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

-When Inna Novicova and her family arrived in Glendale from the Soviet Union three months ago, they didn't know where to begin.

The 48-year-old woman, her husband, Anatoly Gadayev, and their two sons had just left their home in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic. They had left behind family, their jobs and a world they knew so well.
The Jewish Family and Children's Service at the Jewish Community Center in Glendale sponsored their immigration and resettlement. But their transition into this unfamiliar culture was still confusing.
"We didn't know many things," Novicova said, concentrating on her English. "Our friends says to us there is a Russian library I ...for help."
That's the Glendale Public Library, a small facility in the city's Community Center that has an expanding Russian Language collection.
In the last few years, it has b("come a haven for many of the Glendale area's estimated 500 Soviet immigrants. They use it as a resource center and as a place to meet other Soviet immigrants.
"I can tell you, this library is good for people. The Russians really use it," said Diana Dvorkin, an assistant at the library d and also a Russian immigrant. "They come t to the library to have something for their hearts."
It It has subscriptions to two popular Russian newspapers, Moscow News and Literaturnaya Gazetta,and two Russian magazines. It also houses about 700 Russian volumes, including many children's books.
Plus, a $20,044 grant from the Library Service and Construction Act enables the library to offer their Russian patrons more materials on English as a second language and a number of programs dealing with employment and educational issues. The 10 patrons account for a 40% increase in the d library's circulation, officials said.
The library recently brought in volunteers to help with a resume workshop and  over the next few months will supply interested immigrants with an interviewing-skills workshop. 
"In this library, we have a very big help," Novicova said. "They give us very good advice." 
The Glendale library collection is not as large as that at the Denver Public Library , but Dvorkin, who worked 12 years as a librarian in Russia, insists it's more personal and more widely used.
"I'm a professional. I know what is good , and bad. In Denver Public, they ordered everything from a catalog. This is a difference," she said.
The Glendale library can't keep more than one-third of their collection in at one c time, library manager Annette Choszczyk said. "The books go out almost instantly. We have to hide them before they're checked in with us, otherwise, they want to "I check them out," she said.
That's largely because the collection offers the Russian immigrants a chance to, catch up on the literature they couldn't read 1 when they lived in the Soviet Union because it wasn't available or it had been destroyed, Dvorkin said.
When Russian authors left the country, libraries and book stores were ordered to remove their books from the shelves, Dvor- kin said.
"Yes, we had a rule. We were to take the r books to a special place where a commission counted them and then ruined them," she said.

From Minsk to Glendale with love and the library
By Guy Kelly
Rocky Mountain News Staff Writer

GLENDALE -A suburb best known for its office towers and nightclubs is turning into a second home for an increasing number of Soviet immigrants, helping them through a confusing and often painful transition to a new world.
For many, the Glendale Public Library has become a bridge to the old country, a place where they can talk to other immi- grants, read dozens of Russian newspapers and magazines and learn about things American - from auto insurance to income taxes.
"If this place didn't exist, I would have a much more difficult time," Leonid Dimenshteyn said Wednesday while reading Literaturnaya Gazeta, a weekly Moscow publication covering arts and politics.
A 64-year-old retired engineer, Dimenshteyn arrived in the Denver area with his wife three months ago after a lifetime in Minsk, Belarus. He found a sometimes bewildering society, but he also found help. "Here, I can get answers," Dimenshteyn said through translator jim Moore.
Glendale is the first stop for many of the metro area's 2,500 immigrants from the former So- viet Union because of its proximi- ty to Jewish Family Service, 1355 S. Colorado Blvd. The agency helps bring people to Denver and helps them adjust to life in America, with such problems as dental care to job training.
During the transition, the immigrants are provided apartments within walking distance of the office; mostly in Glendale.
There they discover librarian Diana Dvorkin, and a small library on the fourth floor of the Glendale Community Center that's become a haven for people lonely for the sound of their native tongue. 
"It's not easy to understand what's going on there now, not for us and not for them," said Dvorkin, who came to the Denver area from Minsk two years ago. "Everyday there is something new, and the changes are so fast. This is a place where they I can gather and discuss things."
Dvorkin's parents, her brother and his family remain in Minsk where turmoil has.heightened  concern for their well-being. "They're scared," she said;
"They don't know if they can buy something tomorrow to feed their kids."
For those who leave family behind, the transition is especially difficult, said Yana Vishnitsky, director of Russian resettlement for the Jewish Family Service. "It is a trauma," she said.
"They feel numerous losses. The pain becomes less intense in time, but it isn't easy. The library provides them with a social and intellectual setting that's very helpful."
Rita Tsalyuk moved to the Denver area from Kiev, Ukraine, a year ago and found the reality far less foreboding than the image her friends have of Denver and the West.
"One woman said Denver was very small,  just one street, with every building on the same street," said Tsalyuk. "When I came to Denver, I thought, how happy I am she was wrong."

Rabbi Raymond A. Zwerin    
Temple Sinai / Denver      
September 17, 2000
Fairmont Cemetery

If only life were tidy and neat and clear from one end to the other. If only life were determinate and predictable and totally black and white without ifs, ands, buts, or areas of gray. If only life, like a new product carried a warrantee, or a guarantee, or the opportunity to "do it again" should we be dissatisfied, or disappointed, or dismayed. Dull, perhaps, but eminently fair. Life should be fair and neat and tidy from one end to the other. 

Certainly, were life fair, Diana would still be among us. If life were fair, none of our loved ones would ever die, nor would anyone again experience pain, or deprivation, or disappointment, or disease, or infirmity. Perhaps life was never meant to be fair, it was just meant to be . . . just that, life -- an opportunity to share that which is the best, the most unique, the most human aspects of ourselves with our loved ones and with the friends we meet along the way. When we do just that, then life becomes significant. Perhaps, life was not meant to be fair -- it was meant to be meaningful and significant and blessed, for however long we are given to live it, to enjoy it, to share it with those who must miss us dearly when we are no longer among them.

Though her days were far too few, Diana lived with such positive energy and such joy, and she made such a difference and accomplished so much as to belie her 45 years. She was in love with life; she embraced it at every level of her being; and, she shared it freely with those she cared for. To a great extent, she taught others by example, how to live. 

Diana Dvorkina was born in Minsk in 1954, the oldest or two children to Bella and Lev. Her father [z'l] was a construction manager, a military officer, a civil engineer. He died of the same disease that would ultimately take his daughter. Bella [Rosovskya] is a physician. She maintained a practice in the USSR for some 35 years. 

Her earliest goal was to get a good education. She finished high school in 1971, and then went on to attend at the Culture Institute in Minsk, in the Faculty of Library Sciences. From an early age, Diana had a passion for books and for reading. She read voraciously and quickly -- a talent that would serve her in good stead throughout her professional career both in Russia and in Denver. 

During her last year at the university, friends introduced Diana and Alex to one another. Although they attended the same university, they were in different faculties, but it so happened that they were in the same elective together. Seeing each other in class led to dating and less than a year later, upon graduation, they were married in June of 1976. Almost immediately, they expected their first child, but such joy was tempered by the fact that Alex was almost immediately drafted and sent to serve in the far eastern reaches of the country near Vladivostok. When Olga was born, the commander of Alex's base did not deem it important to give him time off to visit the family. And so, he didn't see his daughter for the first time until she was 8 months-old.

When he did finally complete his military obligation, he returned to Minsk. There were no apartments available for young couples getting started. So the extended family had to make do. For the next four years Diana and Alex and Olga lived alternated living with each of their parents. Finally, they were able to rent a small studio apartment of their own. Michael was born there completing the family that Diana so dearly loved. 

The 1970s were difficult times of struggle, but mainly because of the system -- it was so capricious and subject to guess and luck and randomness. But the young family thrived. In the late 1980s, Alex and Diana decided that the system was too confining -- it choked off any chance of growing and flourishing. Knowing that they were taking a huge risk in so many ways, they applied for papers to emigrate. In 1989, with Gorbachev preaching Glasnost, the doors opened a bit, and the Shmorguns were on their way out. From Vienna they went to Italy for several months. Those were difficult days indeed. There was little money, but Diana was an incredible manager. She was an excellent cook and so was able to create masterpieces out of practically nothing. In many ways, cooking was always a refuge for her. She was intuitive in the kitchen never used recipes, always ready to experiment, eager to make the same dish in three of more ways at the same meal so that everyone could express an opinion as to which version they preferred. Cooking was her relaxation, her way of putting the stress and tension of the day behind her.

In May 1989, the family arrived in Denver. For most recent arrivals, there is a learning curve and a certain amount of down time before adapting to the new culture and environment. Not so for Diana. She hit the ground running, as they say. Within days, she had a job in a tailor shop and was also working at the Shalom Workshop. At the same time, she began to learn how to drive, began to volunteer at the Glendale Community Library, and went to school to improve her English. Actually, by most standards, her English was already pretty good. In Russia, during her college breaks, she had worked as a tour guide for English speaking tourists, while in college. Actually, one experience to come out of this job was fascinating. It seems that Diana's parents' family had been separated during the aftermath of the Russian Revolution. Most remained in Russia, but one relative went to America. While guiding her tour one day for a group of visiting Americans, she noticed that one of the women in the group was wearing a pendant that was similar to the one that Diana wore. As they compared pendants, they noted that they were indeed identical. When they both opened their pendants, each has the same photo of a distant relative. The families has by sheer chance reconnected.

Meanwhile, driven to succeed in Denver, it wasn't long before her activities and efforts were noted. By the end of 1989, she got two job offers one a permanent position with the Glendale Library and the other with the Colorado Dept. of Health. She accepted them both. The later position she worked at for five years taking care of the medical needs of immigrants from Russia. She was case manager and medical advocate she learned the medical system and helped especially low income families navigate through it. The job was demanding and exhausting, but Diana loved every minute of it.

Her library job was for her the realization of a career passion. She now had the chance to work at the profession she had studied and trained for. When she first came to the Glendale Library, it was a small one floor neighborhood walk-in. Realizing that the surrounding community consisted of many new immigrants, Diana went to work transforming the place. She found sources for Russian books receiving them by the case and reading each one to see if it was worthy of shelving. She then realized that this library was more than a reading room, it could become a community center. And so she organized programs for Russian speaking immigrants -- tax advice, banking advice, insurance advice, class in ESL, and more. She arranged for speakers and counselors to volunteer their time on Sundays, and she took it upon herself to be there in the Library working right alongside them. It wasn't long before the library staff expanded significantly, and Diana worker her way up to the equivalent of a supervisory position. Even when her illness was long under way, she persisted in working and serving her community. 

Newspapers and TV stations on several occasions did stories about the library and its unique clientele. Though she played a major role in its transformation, Diana always stepped away from the spotlight She didn't need the Kavod it was enough for her to know that the job was getting done and well.

When not at work, Diana loved to relax at home. And if not in her kitchen experimenting, then she was in her garden urging the berries and vegetables to grow. Or she was picking them -- fruit, tomatoes, and like and often pickling them and sending the jars to friends and relatives often in other countries. She loved the forest. She and Alex would go mushrooming from time to time for the sheer fun of it. And she loved the mountains even a brief drive was like a vacation to her. And she loved to travel, be it on the several cruises they took, on to visit Spain, Portugal, Morocco, or Israel. To her, the Kotel the Western Wall -- was a most special place. She saw an aura there, as if the spirits of her people were rising. She knew it was out of the ordinary.

Without a doubt, Diana's greatest joy was in her family. Her Alex was love-mate, redeemer, and especially in these last several years, constant helpmate and friend. Alex took care of his wife at home, tending to her needs and serving as sounding board and patient companion. The entire family is grateful to the many kindness shown them by First Data Corporation, especially Darius Jack and Mike Skaff, for allowing him to work from home and take time off whenever needed to take care of his dear wife. They were so very understanding and generous of spirit. 

And Mom loved her two children with all her heart. She was so very proud of Olga graduating from Metro and becoming a ultrasound technician. And how proud she was of Michael when he became a Bar Mitzvah at Temple Sinai two years ago, and how she loved his musical interests and his quirky comments and insights on just about everything. She was their problem solver and open ear; their caring nurturer and constant source of encouragement. 

She loved her dear mother Bella, and her brother Mikael and sister-in-law Irena [Dvorkin] and their daughters Galena and Valentina. Family was precious to her -- it lay at the essence of her being. 

Our sympathies also go to her dear in-laws Ya'akov and Bella [Shmorgun] and to cousins, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles and all of her coworkers and friends who gather with us to bid our final respects to our dear Diana.

This was indeed and unusual and rare human being. She was a woman of indomitable spirit, who fought her illness with vigor and tenacity. Her spirit was strong within her. She never gave up hope and she never gave in to self-pity. She lived with dignity and determination -- and in her death, showed an inner strength from which we can all learn. 

Memory is a wonderful gift. Through it we can rehearse and relive the countless moments and experiences shared with one we loved so dearly. Each of us, whether we knew Diana incidentally or intensely, is blessed with the ability to recount our experiences with her. May such memories soften the pain of this moment for those who dearly loved her. May such memories cushion you against the pain of future times when her presence will be so dearly missed. May such memories be a source of strength for all who mourn his loss. 

To Alex, her love mate for 25 years; to Olga and Michael, to Bella (God knows that no parent should ever have to lose a child), to Mikael and Irena and to all who knew and loved her ... may her memory give you the strength to temper grief with a renewed passion for life. Diana would have wanted you to honor her memory by living each day to the fullest, by reaching out to others, by caring about and for one another, by loving family ever the more. And so may your lives be ever the more meaningful and significant because you were blessed by the spirit of this special soul. May she rest in peace. Amen

Annette Choszczyk,
Glendale Library Manager, April 15, 2000

Today we lost a great and good person.  Diana Dvorkina was an inspiration to many, both as a librarian, a community leader and advocate, and as a friend and mother.  She approached everything she did with great enthusiasm, energy and perseverance.  

When she first walked into the Glendale Library, as a new refugee to America, her English was still shaky, but she had the dream of once more working at her beloved profession, Librarianship.  That day began a partnership that, literally, changed my life and changed many others as well.  Soon her English was fluent and her exceptional skills as a librarian were once more in use.  Over the nearly eleven years we worked together we built the Glendale Library into a bilingual community center to serve all the Russian speaking people of the city, as well as a public library to serve all the people of the community in and surrounding Glendale.  She taught me so much, more than I can ever express, as we worked together to serve our community.

As all the Russian speaking patrons of the library know, Diana worked endlessly and tirelessly to serve them and to meet their needs.  She developed one of the finest collections of referral information designed to answer the questions of new arrivals to this country and to also help those who had been in this country for a while.  She spent hours helping people by phone and in person to find all the help they needed on any subject.  She also selected and built a popular Russian Language collection of materials which is an asset to the entire State of Colorado.   Her translated programs on a variety of topics became well known and well attended.  She built a network of contacts in agencies and government to help her work.  And every day she worked with all the people who came into the library treating each with compassion, concern, and professionalism.

Diana inspired us all to do our best work, to reach out to all people, to try new ideas and make a library that was a life-saving place.  In the time we worked together the library grew more than either of us had ever dreamed possible.  Library use grew 2,000% and the Russian speaking community grew along with us.  We saw clubs form and concerts begin, enrichment classes for children were held, and still people came to learn English and to get help with all the challenging questions of people starting a new life in a new country.   We also welcomed new staff members to our team and Diana taught them to have the same fire and passion for helping others.  She was a great counselor and coach to staff and encouraged all of us to do excellent work.  Helping to bridge languages and cultures was one of her great gifts.

Over the years, I have read many letters from patrons thanking Diana for her help and all of them mentioned her caring and her concern.  She would not stop until she got the answer to any question, no matter how long it took or how hard it was to find.  If she had to telephone people all the way to Washington D.C., she would do it. Whether the question took minutes or hours to answer,  Diana never stopped until she was satisfied with the answer.  She was a fine researcher and organizer, but most of all, she loved people and wanted to help them.  She wanted to make a real difference and she did.....EVERY day and with EVERY person she worked with.

Diana faced illness with the same fighting spirit that she had when she faced hard questions and stupid bureaucracy.  She fought like a lion and twice came back to us against unspeakable odds.  We all dreamed that she would win once again, but it was not to be, and we are left gasping at her loss.  I have lost a wonderful work partner and a true friend.  I only pray I can carry on the work she started.  It is the least I can do to honor the memory of a truly great person.  

* * *

From the Association of Second World War Veterans of Denver

 It is hard to see anyone to the last breath, especially such a special person as Dina.  The number of people who came to her for help and advice cannot be counted.  She was especially helpful solving problems that were specific to immigrants.  This was not in her work description.  It was beyond.  She was a kind, honest and responsible person who did so much good for others.  She was a light in our hard immigrants life.  
 The Association of Veterans has a feeling of irreparable loss and grieves together with her family, friends and all those who loved and respected her.  She was a friend, counselor, and source of ideas and programs that were initiated for the Russian Speaking Community and the Veterans Associations.
 We will always need her.  Rest in Peace, Dinochka.

Vladimir German
President, Veterans Association 

* * * 

We are grieving over the loss of Dina, who was a very good friend and wonderful person.  She was clever, honest, and helpful.  She made it her goal to help people.  She considered that to be her duty, and did it very professionally.  She helped everybody who needed help, no matter what nationality or social status of the person had.  Our condolences is going to the relatives and friends of Dina Dvorkina.

The Association of Scientists 

* * *

 The untimely death of Diana Dvorkina, the one who initiated the Russian collection of the Glendale Library, was a true shock to us.
 Diana was a person of great soul and strong will.  It is difficult to imagine, but in her last months, she continued to help those who came to her with their problems.  No on even suspected that she was suffering strong pain.  She took care of other until her last moment, never mentioning that she needed care.
 We express our condolences to Dinas family, her friends, and everyone who knew her.  It is a very hard loss and illogical death.
 It is rare to meet such a bright, extraordinary person in this life.

(Colorado Association of Russian Speaking Physicians)

* * *
 Our condolences to the relatives and friends of our friend and co-worker Diana Dvorkina.  Her death is very hard for us.  She can never be replaced.  She was a fine example of decency and honesty; completely unselfish.  She will always remain this way in our hearts and mind.

Childrens Center for Science, Art and Sport

* * *

 At the height of her professional career, one of the most outstanding persons of Denver immigration, Diana Dvorkina, untimely passed away on September 15, 2000.  
 For a long period of time, she carried good to people, and helped those who needed support and advice.  Thanks to her efforts and great love of people, this small library in the small city of Glendale became the center and symbol of the Russian Speaking Community of Colorado.  Today, looking back, it is difficult to imagine how many projects she initiated.  She preferred to work quietly in the background, and let her actions speak for themselves.  However, due to the magnitude of her personality, it is almost impossible to find someone she did not help in some way.   She was not only a source of very important and accurate information and a wise counselor, but also the initiator of unique programs and cultural events.  She was the heart and soul of many different clubs and associations.  She was like a representative of the Russian Speaking Community, the link in the chain, which connected us to State officials.  Thanks to her efforts, many programs to support seniors, children and low-income families became widely recognized.  She helped people find new jobs, and to find their place in their new lives here in America.
  She was a very wise politician and brilliant organizer.  She could explain the problems of new immigrants to State officials, and could make them see things in a new light.  Her unique knowledge, experience and deep love for those whom she helped brought the respect of all those who worked with her.  For American people, she represented the best in Russian immigrants.  For us, she was like a pioneer, showing us all the best of American life, without claiming any personal gain.  No matter the Newcomers nationality, background or religious preference, they all went to Dina.  They knew they could find real help through her.  She made call for those in difficulty.  She was our Savior.  Those who came after her thought she had always been here and hoped she always would be.  But life had other plans.  We are all grieving over this irreplaceable loss.

The Colorado Guild of Journalists and Russian Speaking Representatives of the Mass Media

* * *

 Never is such a scary word.
 We will never look into her attentive, sympathetic eyes, will never hear her soft voice.  She helped a lot of people.  She did not wait for some one to ask her.  She always made the first move to help someone.
 She was an excellent daughter, affectionate wife, wonderful mother and very professional Librarian.  God takes the best.  But it happened too early.  We are all grieving for her.  She will be in our hearts forever.

Glendale Library


* * *

 The Cultural Center of the Russian Speaking Community of Denver is grieving over the untimely loss of a very prominent public figure in the culture of Denver Russian Immigrants, and the creator and permanent leader of the Russian Library, Diana Dvorkina, which came after a long and difficult illness. 
 Our condolences to her family and relatives.

Michael Timashpolskiy
 * * *

 We want to express our condolences to Dinas family and relatives.  She was a key person in our club.  Dina Dvorkina knew folk songs very well.  Together with her husband Alex, she participated in a lot of folk festivals.  She loved and understood these songs very much.  When our club was created she helped arrange meeting rooms and helped organize the first rehearsals.  She gave very important advice.  She could not attend all of our concerts, but we always felt her support.  The memory of her will be with us forever.

Yuliya Fridman
President, Denver Song Club

* * *

Death always takes the best.  But it is so hard to accept that, as its hard to accept Diana Dvorkinas untimely passing.  She will always be and example of kindness, decency and a tremendous love of people.  She could accomplish any project she tried.  The Russian collection at the library was growing, and social programs were beginning. People started to speak English, found jobs, passed Naturalization exams, learned about income tax, opened businesses, and bought houses.  In all these events, there was a part of Dinas work.  Only close relatives knew how much effort all this took.  Dina was the soul of the Russian speaking community.
One of her goals was the creation of a center for Russian speaking immigrants which could host the Russian theatre, the Childrens Education Center, different Russian clubs and which would include space for the Glendale Librarys Russian collection.  Her untimely death stopped this project.
But we believe that such a center will be created and it will become a memorial to all the good things that she did for our people.  

The editorial staff of  the newspaper  Gorizont

* * *
The death of Dina Dvorkina  - a great person, was a real shock for us. We were longtime friends. And we always asked her for an advice. Today many people feel lonely, like orphans. We want to address our words of consolation to her relatives exactly as she would do for others.

The editorial staff of  the newspaper  Vestnik

* * *
 The loss of Dina Dvorkina is very hard for the whole Russian speaking community.  She was, by nature, a leader.  She was highly intelligent, and had courage and compassion.  She devoted her life to making new immigrants life in this country a little easier.   Her efforts showed results.
 She set high goals, and always attained them.  She influenced all social projects in which she had a hand.  She had a positive impact on all whom she touched, and left us with fond memories.

American Association of Jewish Immigrants from the Former Soviet Union

* * *
 Too early, Dina Dvorkina left this life.  She was a highly educated, very kind soul.  Everyone who knew her loved and respected her.  Working in the library, she helped all Denver immigrants with advice, kind words and compassion.  She used her education and knowledge to help others, and acquired a lot of friends.  It is impossible to forget Dina.  To accept her loss is very difficult for all of us.
 We, too, are grieving, and wish to express our condolences to her mother, husband and children.

Russian Book Club

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 We are grieving over the loss of Dina.  We knew Dina Dvorkina as a very compassionate person; very attentive to other peoples problems.  She was always ready to help; always thinking about other people.
 Every one she touched will never forget her. Our condolences is going to the members of her family, her co-workers, and her friends.

Vladimir Popov
Consul of Russian Federation, 
San Francisco, CA

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A Person with a Wondrous Soul
The City of Glendale, the Russian Speaking community of Denver, and the Glendale Library lost Dina Dvorkina, a very special and talented person.  Dina was very hardworking, kind sympathetic and attentive to other peoples troubles.
 Over the last ten years, the Glendale Library became an information center.  The library initiated many programs for Russian Speaking immigrants.  We can study English, learn about American culture, and learn to adjust to our new life here.  The many meetings, lectures and consultations were very helpful to us.  All this was due to the efforts of Dina Dvorkina.
 Dina created a unique collection of Russian literature in Colorado.  For many years I worked at an Engineering College in Minsk, but even we did not have such a large and varied collection as Dina managed to acquire in the Glendale Library.
 All immigrants know this library very well.  Dina always gave very clever and helpful advice.  Not every person can be so helpful.  It is a gift, and Dina possessed that gift.  I also want to stress that Dina did this without any expectations of material rewards.  She always made time for others, whether during work hours, or on her own time.  People could also count on her sincerest sympathy, attention to their problems, and her support. 
 The greatness of a person is measured by their actions.  In her 45 years Dina accomplished enough for several lifetimes.  She possessed a very bright and unique personality.  Dina left enough good memories to last for several years.  We are grieving over the loss of Dina and the memory of this amazing woman will be with us forever.

On behalf of my family, relatives, and friends,

Tsezar Rabinovich
Letter to Gorizont

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David Genis
Gorizont staff writer

On the 8th of December, Dina would have been 46 years old.  There is a saying that God takes only the best, but thats hard to accept.  The entire Russian speaking community feels orphaned.  The funeral took place on September 17 at the Fairmont Cemetery.  Several hundred people were in attendance.  Mark Nolskiy says you can judge the character of the departed by those who come to say farewell.

Dina was born in Minsk.  She graduated from the Institute of Culture.  She began to work as a librarian while she was still a student. The Kingdom of Books became her profession.  Dinas husband, Alex, says she strove to make her work interesting; to be more creative.

They came to Denver in 1989.  Soon afterward, Dina began working at the Glendale Library while at the same time working at the Department of Health in the Refugee Health program.  She worked for this program for five years, helping new immigrants solving their unexpected problems.  Many times, she was called to the hospital in the middle of the night to act as translator and to serve as a source of solace for the ill.  
Dina worked hard, but never complained.  She never let on how hard she really worked.  Her work with refugees gave her the experience and the vital knowledge about hospitals, physicians, services and programs that existed to help the needy.  It also provided contacts that with officials and specialists that she called on later.  Dina could always get in touch with the right person in the right place to get things done.  She always managed to do what some said could not be done.  Her organizational skills showed in everything she did. 
One of her main personal characteristics was a sense of modesty.  Dina took part in the creation of the Glendale Public Library, which has been widely covered by the Denver press and TV.  But the mass media always made mention of the library and its programs, and never Dina herself.  She was a significant force in the life of Russian Denver.  Many times, we tried to write an article about her, but she always said later.  So we are writing about her now.  But she will never be able to read it.

Her house was always full of guests, and Dina was a very gracious hostess.  She always enjoyed cooking and creating her own recipes.  This same creativeness was evident in her work.  
The manager of the Glendale Library, Annette Chosczcyk, with whom Dina worked for over 10 years, remembers: The library was on Fairfax, and open only three days a week.  We only had two shelves of books, none of them in Russian.  Together, Dina and I decided to create a Russian collection, to get financial support for it, and to buy books in the Russian language.  Gradually, we gained connections with various offices, and immigrants began coming to the library.  They understood that we could help them and they felt comfortable here.  In 1990 the library expanded and moved into the new building.  Dina was still busy with the Russian collection, contacting different publishers and bookstores, and helping to hire and to train the new staff.  Due to Dinas efforts, immigrants had access to literature and newspapers in their own language.  Today, the size and circulation of the Russian literature collection has increased over 2,000%, and over one half of the librarys patrons are Russian.  That would not have happened without Dinas energy.

One of the last conversations between Dina and Annette concerned a new Glendale Public Library building, which would include a concert hall, and rooms for lectures and clubs.  Dina thought about the future, and would never give up. Today everyone says that Dina has helped thousands of immigrants who didnt know where to turn for help.  Due to Dinas efforts, the library contained all necessary information for new immigrants.  Even today its difficult to fathom her creativeness.  She created a catalogue of frequently asked questions and answers for new immigrants.  That was not in her job description.  It was done by her own initiative.  She was dreaming of the creation of a Russian Center.  She wanted to help those who needed it.  Dina was always glad to see new clubs formed and helped to arrange meetings.  She saw them as the real life of the community.  People could use their knowledge in these clubs, and expand their emotional well being.  

Dina was the first to initiate the ESL classes, which still exist.  At first, there was only one volunteer teacher.  Then Annette and Dina received funding which allowed for salaried teachers and more classes Annette says: Dina was one of my best friends and I was very proud of this friendship.  We often spent holidays together, and I enjoyed the Russian evenings with Dinas family.  Both of our husbands would play guitar and we would sing songs.  Dina would tell about life in the USSR and tell of the difficulties of leaving through Italy, with little money and no work.

Sofa Moyn has worked in the library since 1992.  She is speaking talked about Dina: These days a lot of people call to the Glendale Public Library and suggest to name it  Dina Dvorkinas Library.  They consider the library as the creation of her.  If the Library administration would do that, it would be a fitting tribute to Dina.  People call us The Russian Library, but we just have a large collection of Russian material.  Our library, with its Russian collection, and as a center for the Russian speaking community of Denver, is the best memorial to Dina.

Dina also was the on to organize ESL classes for working people as well as for seniors.  She managed to prove that the knowledge of language is very important to be able to adapt to a new country.  Before that, seniors were not accepted in ESL program.  Some say that its not a big deal to give advice.  But in a new country, with limited English and not knowing the reality and the rulesit is a very big deal.  Often people do not know where to go with their problems.  We do not have an official informative counseling center in Denver.  So people told each other Go see Dina.

Many people did go to see her.  In fact, people lined up to talk to Dina.  She could convince people that everything would turn out all right, and to take action to solve their problems.  The secret to the deep respect felt for Dina is that she didnt only give advice, but she helped find solutions.  Many professionals also held a deep respect for her, and could be called upon to help with different seminars and meetings that addressed the needs of immigrants.  These included seminars with the INS, the IRS, real estate professionals, etc.  Hundreds of people came to these programs.  These meetings were usually held in the evenings, and Dina would act as translator and facilitator.  She could have been at home, spending time with her family, but chose to be helping people instead.  And she never received any monetary rewards for this.
We talked to Sofia for a long time, and she gave us dozens of examples of how Dina helped different people.  We could write many pages about Dina, but they would not fit into one article.

Now I must tell the story of Alex Yudovich, who is active in many of the Russian clubs here in Denver.  In Alexs opinion, Dina didnt do all these things as a job.  She did them as a labor of love.  She could help and give advice in a very unobtrusive manner.  She always said, I think this would be the right thing to do.  But she always required that everything be done strictly by the letter of the law. 
Yudovich remembers:
Dina was a very romantic person.  She took problems of others as her own.  At the same time, she was very realistic and disciplined.  Thats how she could accomplish so much. She had a very big heart.  People would even call her at home, and she always made time for them.  Moreover, she would take the time to call back to find out if everything had come out OK.  She wanted to make people feel safe here.  She initiated the ESL classes for seniors even before U.S. laws required a person to be a citizen to receive benefits.  Now, the entire third floor of the library is devoted to teaching English.  
Dina was full of different ideas.  She wanted to obtain literature in Yiddish.  She wanted to create a group where people with many different ideas could come together to share them.  She had plans for all of this, but she was already ill.  However, I never heard her complain.  Dina never even showed in any way that she was ill.  Her assistance to the various clubs was invaluable.  She not only arranged for a place for these clubs to meet, but was always aware of what the different clubs were doing.  It was Dina who first suggested a book club.

Sam Dukarevich, of the Association of Scientists: 
Dina was that rare type of person who made it her profession to help people.  This became her goal in life.   She had immense energy to give to others.  I experienced it myself.  I hope the remaining library staff will preserve the traditions she began.  Dina was a very good friend and major supporter of our association.  We shared many ideas, and she helped make them a reality.  I want to stress her respect, help and understanding for our association.

Vladimir German, of the Association of Second World War Veterans:
Dina created an oasis in Denver: our Russian library.  This was a place we have loved to gather.  I think the library is the best memorial to Dina.  It would be nice to have a plaque in Dinas honor in the library.  She deserves it due to her devotion.  Dina did a lot for our group.  She understood, better than most, how important her attention was for older immigrants who survived WWII and ghetto.

Nelly Morgovskaya, of the Russian Book Club remembers:
Dina was a very kind person who helped everyone, including our club.  She assisted us select material, arrange meeting rooms, and even organized free food for Thanksgiving.

Suzanna Kalikhshteyn, of the Club of Meetings with Interesting People says:
For more than two years I had worked as a volunteer in the library (1992-1994).  I witnessed how people came to Dina with questions that actually should have been handled by some official agency.  Sometimes, I asked Dina why she did this.  She explained that these people needed someone to talk to, who understood what it was like to start a new life.  She was like that until her last day.

The author wishes to thank everyone who participated in creating this portrait of a person whose role in the life of the Russian speaking community was so immeasurable that we cannot fully undersatnd our loss yet.  There is a Jewish saying that when a person dies, they take with them not what they had in life, but what they gave to others.  Dina took the love and gratitude of hundreds of people, and her memory will live among these people forever.

Her final tribute: a handful of earth.
Goodbye Dina.

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The following people wish to express their condolences to the family of Diana Dvorkina:

The Moyn family
Boris Rayzberg
T. Gamarnik
Irina Frenkel
Alex Mazin
Irina Batalina
The Lozinsky family
Bronya and Efim Zhuk
Lyudmila and Mikhail Azturyansky
Olga Zaturenskaya and Victor Rusakevich
Marina and Mikhail Shelkovich
Elena and Sergei Sobolev
Alex Gorodinsky
Elena and Boris Shokhrin
Elena Oleinik
Vitaly Rondel
Alex Krevenya
Lyubov Logacheva
Sofia and Mikhail Mozhaikin
Dmitriy Gershengorih
Alex and Marina Voskresensky
Leonid and Lev Reznikov
Maya  abd Vladimir Kunin
Cvetlana and Vladimire Lepher
Marina Zharikova and Erna Karakulina
Anna Zontova


 We are grieving over this loss.  We remember Dina as a beautiful wife, excellent mother and a very special lady.  Please be aware that our feelings are with you  and with all your family.  We can feel your pain.

Tamara, Anna, Ilya Getmansky Israel

It is painful to say goodbye to Dina. The death of any person is a very sad event.  It is twice as bad when it is a close friend or relative.
It is bad enough when the loved one has lived a long and useful life, but even more tragic when someone so young and beautiful is taken from us.  She was our friend and relative and we cannot find the words to express our grief.

She was an outgoing person who loved to cook and entertain.  She was always the perfect hostess.  She was there for us when we were new here, and offered her advice freely.  We have never forgotten her help, and we never will.  Helping newly arrived immigrants became her passion.  She was very competent, and had boundless energy when helping others.  The entire Russian community knew her.

Some people knew that Dina was very ill. But only those who were close to her knew how ill she was, and how hard she was fighting.  Her struggles seemed, for a while, to give her a chance.  Her family was also helping her in her struggle, and doing everything they could.  Unfortunately, the disease was even stronger than her will.  It is difficult to restrain our tears.  We are unable to console her mother, Bella, husband Alex, son Michael, daughter Olga, and brother Michael.  We are with them in their time of grief.

Goodbye Dina.  You well be in our hearts forever.

Inna, Volodya, and Lena Lerner

I express my sincere condolences to Dinas family, her friends, and the entire Russian Speaking Community of Colorado.

This is a terrible loss, not only for those who were close to Dina, or who knew her, but also to those who are just beginning a new life in Colorado. 

Eleven years ago, Dina helped my family take our first steps in this new country. Since then, all my friends who came to Colorado went to Dina for advice.  I want to believe that there will be others who will honor Dinas memory by helping other newcomers.

It would be fitting that a permanent fund in Dinas memory be established to help other Russian immigrants in need.  The money from this fund could be used for medical needs and legal assistance.  Perhaps, with the help of the Glendale Public Library, we could establish an annual competition among the children of Russian immigrants, the winner receiving a scholarship in Dinas memory to allow them to attend the most prestigious universities.

Lets dedicate the next issues of Gorizont and Vestnik to Dina, and publish articles about her, photos, and the letters from those whom she helped.
The memories of Dina are not only those of a wonderful person with talents of kindness and compassion, but also of those things which are the best of Russian character and culture.  Our children and we need to remember this.

Nadiya Sena
Boulder, CO 


One Bright Star called Dina is Gone from the Universe

We lost our beloved Dina.  She was a person of rare charm and kindness; a very sympathetic person.  
 Weve been friends of the Dvorkina family for a long time, and knew Dina since she was small.  It was amazing how talented she was.  She had excellent taste.  Her painting and knitting reflected the beauty of the world around her.  She shared these remarkable talents and traits not only with her family and friends, but with others as well.  Her union with Alex complimented her talents, and allowed her to be even more helpful to others.
 The tragic death took away her bright soul.  Many people in Denver, and her hometown of Minsk, feel orphaned by the loss.  We are grieving over the irreplaceable loss of this dear person.  We have so many memories of her with which we can console ourselves.
 We can never forget Dina.  She will always be remembered by her adoring husband, children, relatives and friends.

On behalf of the Shulman family and Dinas Belarussian friends,

Professor Zinoviy Shulman
Honored Scientist of Belarussia