Obituaries » Gerda Eda Kotly-Sanovich

Gerda Eda Kotly-Sanovich

July 12, 1937 - July 10, 2017

Burial Date: July 12, 2017

Graveside service to be held at 10:00 am, Wednesday, July 12, 2017 at Beth Jacob Cemetery, 2300 Almeda-Genoa Rd, Houston, TX 77047.

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Eighty years ago, to the day, Eda Sanovich had been born.  She was born in a warm capital of sunny Georgia.  And that is what her disposition was throughout her life, warm and sunny.  She was ready to smile and be happy, even though her life could not be called easy or care free.

Life in the Soviet Union provided some important guaranties, yet being a single parent is no picnic anywhere.  She did her best though.  She dutifully took care of her mother, who suffered a couple of heart attacks.  She arranged for maintenance and repairs in our old apartment.  All the while, I had my share of summer vacations, amateur sports and tutors to get me ahead in life.  And she did not relent on her education either.  In the late seventies, when the word — computer — was a bit of science fiction, she has built her education up, to become a senior technician for the mainframe running regional power grid.  And from that, seemingly lofty position, she chose to leave for the west, because soviet reality persistently pointed to a dead end in culture and spirit.  And so, she did what it takes.  Requested a visa to go to Israel, assembled all the papers to placate soviet bureaucracy, sold off whatever personal possessions we had, and got out with her 74-year-old mother and teenage son.

Here in America it was no cakewalk.  She had to learn a new language, received an associate degree, has learned to drive and do many things one learns with emigration.  As soon as she has left the Soviet Union a new theme in education became possible – Jewish education.  From then on Eda Sanovich has taken special interest in filling the missing knowledge for herself, as well as her son.  At the time, living in Denver, she got involved in Jewish community life.  When she moved back to Houston she continued on the same pass, gathering new friends in the community and accumulating books about Jewish history and religion.  She always made special effort to do something good for others, even when she needed help herself.  She would drive with someone to a doctor, visit them at the hospital, act as a translator, or make little donations.  When she did what little she could for others she could smile with the clear conscience and feel truly happy.

And when she could not do anything, when the stroke took away her power of speech and movement, she could still smile.  For five years she could communicate, make friends, receive help and express gratitude.  I could see it by the way she was treated at the nursing home.  If there was anything that the stuff, at every level, could do to make her smile, they would do it.  It is no small matter to be able to persevere in her condition.

Yet all things must end…  While we should always learn…  So, I learn to smile…  Because, for us, there is no telling when and how this knowledge will become important.  But it is always good to know.