Justina Rudokas

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Justina Rudokas passed away, Oct. 8, 2019, one week after she and her family enjoyed celebrating her 102nd birthday.She was preceded in death by her first and second husbands, Augustine Rudokas (the father of her children) and John Tamasiunas.She is survived by her two daughters, Patricia and Cynthia; and granddaughters, Jennifer and Kathleen.Justina’s parents were immigrants from Lithuania who settled in Lewiston, where Justina was born. Her father took Justina and her brother, John, to Lithuania when Justina was 13 years years old at the start of the great depression. They spent six days crossing the Atlantic Ocean, record time in that golden era on an ocean liner, the Berengaria, part of the Cunard Line, touted to be the fastest ocean service at that time. North Atlantic sea conditions were all that you can imagine, not a hop across the pond. While in Lithuania, she endured meager living conditions residing on a farm with animals and the omnipresent outhouse.She returned to the United States at the age of 16. In 1939 Justina and her husband “Gus” were married and began raising their family in Lewiston. Together they enjoyed the Lithuanian Club festivities with friends and relatives. They were landlords in their three story house with four apartments. Each summer, she and her family traveled to the nearby beaches at the seashore and the lakes. In June of each year she planted her revered vegetable garden, surrounded by rows of fragrant peonies and the sweetest smelling red roses.Her love of sewing was sparked at the age of 15 while living in Lithuania, taking sewing instruction. For a time in Lewiston, she worked as a seamstress working with a local furrier.She moved to California in 1994 to be closer to her children, residing in Santa Cruz at De Anza Mobile Home Park for 27 years. Justina lived an honorable life, placing her family first. Her soul can rest easy as she fulfilled her mission here amongst us, setting an example for the rest of us to live by. She was a bright, caring, friendly and resourceful wom-an. Her New England accent will still be echoing as we think of her. In her memory, donations may be made to Hospice of Santa Cruz County, 940 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, California, 95066.

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