On Sunday morning, May 9, In Memory of Dushka, a Mass was celebrated at St. Vartan’s Cathedral. Later, a Requiem Service began around noon. As it was Mother’s Day, Jessmin Howarth’s name was included. That evening an intimate service was held at 4:40 in the Chapel where Dushka’s remains were transferred from a lovely urn made by Sylvia March to the permanent church urn. A Vespers Service was then held at 5:00pm May 9, which included Dushka’s inurnment.
Summary of Events, May 21, 2010 at St. Peter’s for Dushka’s Memorial Service:
Port o’ Monkeys Band ~ Dushka singing ~ An appreciation of Dushka — Patty de Llosa (text below) ~ Dick Hyman at the piano ~ Speaking of Dushka — Lillian Firestone & others ~ Poem – Robert Schneck ~ Lord’s Prayer in Russian -The Foundation Choir ~ Georgian “Kartuli” – Victor Sirelson and Partner ~ Gurdjieff music: Duduki and Easter Hymn and Procession in the Holy Night – Meg Sinclair ~ Greek Dance – Livia Vanaver and attendees.
(Patty de Llosa): “As Dushka’s oldest friend here, we grew up together, it falls on me to welcome everyone to this celebration of her life. So welcome to the many who’ve come from the Gurdjieff Foundation, and those from Warwick and Claymont and Philadelphia and the West Coast. Welcome all! Dushka’s ashes are right over there…
What’s that? Excuse me? Dushka? You’d like to welcome them yourself with a song? Ok.
When I think of Dushka, three words come to mind: Talent, Fidelity and Courage. She and I had extraordinary parents*, hard to live up to, so I know she had a struggle to become her own person. You will read about her in the small biography in your program, but let me say that at 25 she spent time with her father, G. I. Gurdjieff in the last year of his life and recorded much of the music he played on the harmonium, which has recently become available to the public.
She started off as a publicist for up and coming young stars of stage and screen, including Dick Hyman, who has come here tonight to help us celebrate. Her talent showed up as she learned the guitar and began to sing and play in performance, finally becoming a cruise entertainment leader on the Greek Line.
When her mother became elderly she left that job and came home to be with her. That’s where the loyalty comes in. And the courage? After her Mother died she taught herself computer techniques and in spite of heart attacks, fractures and illnesses which left her bedridden in the last few years, she put together a book which she published early this year, It’s Up to Ourselves: A Mother, A Daughter and Gurdjieff. So perseverance is another word we can apply to her.
Excuse me, Folks. Dushka’s talking to me again. Enough talking? You want a dance? Is Livia anywhere around? And you want to know where’s Dick Hyman? He’s right over there and he’s going to play for us after the dance”.
DICK HYMAN PLAYS]
“Have I mentioned Dushka’s adopted son? I bet you didn’t know she had one! But it’s Robert Schneck, who will read a poem he wrote for Dushka.”
One of the people who has most cared for and taken care of Dushka in the last few years when she was bedridden is Lillian Firestone. Lillian will be the MC for the rest of the evening”.
–Patty de Llosa
*Patty is daughter of Dr. William and Louise Welch