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Zofia Postolaki

May 24, 1932 February 20, 2019
Zofia Postolaki
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Obituary for Zofia Postolaki

Zofia Maria Postolaki was born in Poland in May, 1932, in a part of that country that now lies in the Ukraine. At the start of WW II she and her family were sent to a Gulag prison camp as a
result of the Soviet-German partition of Poland. In later years, Zofia would transfix her own
family with harrowing accounts of the life she experienced as a small girl, including how she and her mom were chased by bears as they tried to gather food, how she escaped from an
orphanage and backtracked for days to find her mother, and how she watched silver “fish”
(torpedoes) cross under the British merchant freighter that was ferrying refugees to safety from Karachi to Durban.

Most of her family widely scattered by the war, Zofia eventually arrived in Ndola, Northern
Rhodesia (modern Zambia), where she and other Polish refugees lived in thatched huts, joining with the resident African women to wash their clothes in the local stream that flowed near their village. After ten years in Africa, Zofia, her sisters, and her mother were in time permitted to emigrate to Nottingham, England. It was there that Zofia discovered her love for sewing and fashion, likely as a way of forgetting the hardships she endured in her formative years.

It was in England that Zofia also met her future husband Vladimir. Not long after, the two of
them made plans to emigrate to America, which they viewed as the true land of opportunity.
After five long years of filling out forms and receiving denials, they were eventually allowed to
come to the United States as prospective future citizens.

Crossing the Atlantic on one of the last voyages of the Queen Mary ocean liner, Zofia and her
husband disembarked in New York in February, 1960. There, they flipped a coin to decide
whether they would take a Greyhound Bus to Florida or go to California. Having been regaled
by tales of the Golden State during their ocean voyage, they chose California. Arriving in early
spring, Zofia and Vladimir first lived in San Francisco, but eventually saved enough to move to
Santa Rosa, California, in 1963. They continued to live there until their divorce in 1980.
Having become a classically trained tailor, Zofia first worked for Rosenberg's Dept. Store and
Badgett's in Santa Rosa before eventually transitioning on to manage various Ladies and Mens Alterations shops for Nordstrom Company in San Jose, Santa Barbara, and in San Diego. It was said that Zofia could look at almost any garment and then produce an identical copy from scratch. Even better, she could also invent her own designs, which also led to her being in high demand as a personal wardrobe consultant and tailor. In this period, Zofia remembered having had a number of famous clients. On one occasion, she was even personally requested to perform some emergency repairs to the suit of a U.S. presidential candidate who was minutes away from appearing on a nationally televised debate.

Zofia retired from tailoring in 2000 and shortly thereafter moved to Vacaville to be close to her
youngest son Theodore and his elder brother, Paul. In addition to being a wonderful mom to
her sons, Zofia was also especially loved as "Grandma Z" by her two grandsons, Gage and
Wyatt. Her grandsons remember their seventy-something year old grandmother still willing to
give them horseback rides long past the point when they were toddlers.

Zofia passed away peacefully in her sleep on February 20, 2019. The Postolaki Family knows for her a new beginning and celebrates having been in the presence of such a beautiful, strong, and caring lady. You remain an inspiration to the many people you touched during your lifetime. God bless, and rest in peace. We will love you always.

A Celebration of Life for Zofia will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the Unity Church of the Valley in
Vacaville on Friday, May 24, 2019. Those wishing to remember her are asked to forego sending flowers and are instead asked to donate to a local animal rescue organization of their choice.

Previous Events

Service

Friday

24

May

11:30 AM 5/24/2019 11:30:00 AM
Unity Church

N. Orchard
vacaville, ca 95688

Unity Church
N. Orchard vacaville 95688 ca
United States
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