Ivanka Antolin died peacefully at home in the company of her beloved wife, Judy, after a long and heroic battle with cancer and its aftermath. A resident of Spotsylvania, VA since 1993, she and Judy created their log cabin oasis to host friends and family, garden, and shelter a marvelous family of rescue dogs and cats over the years. Ivanka was a woman of beauty, tremendous intelligence, wit, humor, and drive. We will miss her raucous laugh, sense of adventure, kindness, flair, and gusto. Central to her life was her wife, Judy Lynn. For 32 years, Ivanka and Judy loved and nurtured each other and their wide circle of great friends and family.
Born in Madrid, Spain to Viktor and Ivanka (Velikonja) Antolin, she was the oldest child of thirteen. The family moved to Toronto, Canada in 1956, where Ivanka was active in the Slovenian parish. In 1961, the family moved to Fairfield, PA. She graduated from Mother Seton School, in Emmitsburg, MD in 1967 and from Fairfield Area High School in 1971. She began college at St. Joseph’s College in Emmitsburg, and upon its closing, transferred to Juniata College, in Juniata, PA, earning a Bachelors Degree in Biology in 1975. In 1977, Ivanka qualified as a Medical Technologist through the St. Vincent’s Charity Hospital program in Cleveland, OH.
Her career as a medical technologist and laboratory technician took her to Cleveland, OH; Alexandria, VA; Charlotte, NC; and finally, to the peaceful wilds of Spotsylvania County. Ivanka was a dedicated advocate for animals, volunteering for many years at local animal rescue organizations, especially the local American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Her advocacy included the personal adoption of many animals over the years. A passionate advocate for women’s rights since her early years, she was active at both the local and national level with the National Organization of Women. Ivanka loved to sing and joined several choirs over the years, most memorably the Washington Slovenian Chorus. She was known to spontaneously burst into song, especially in the company of fellow singers. She was very active with the Unitarian Universal Fellowship of Fredericksburg.
She is survived by her wife, Judy Lynn, her mother, Ivanka V. Antolin, and ten of her siblings and their spouses, Vida, Pavel and Cvetka, Tomaz, Michael and Chris, Stan and Peggy, Helena and Steve, Jozef and Patty, Meta, Katherine and Kiril, and Kristina and Antony. A devoted teta (aunt), Ivanka will always be cherished by her 26 nieces and nephews. Her father, Viktor, sister Ana, and brother Robert predeceased her. She also leaves behind her dear dogs, Mishka and Aspen, and a circle of cats.
The family will memorialize her privately. Ivanka asked that people remember her through donations to their local chapters of the ASPCA.