July 17, 1919 — Jan. 20, 2014
Tania Gavre died peacefully surrounded by loved ones in Placerville, California on Jan. 20, 2014. Born Tatiana Krasilnikoff on July 17, 1919, in San Francisco, she was the middle child with two brothers. Her father was born in the Ukraine and her mother in Harbin, China. Both families immigrated separately to California and joined other Russian immigrants living on Potrero Hill in San Francisco around the time of the 1906 earthquake.
When she entered school, her birth name was changed to Emma Krase. A high school teacher informed her that she had the right to change her name back – and that’s what she did. During World War II she worked as a secretary, a translator and then at Hunter’s Point Shipyard making parts for navy ships. In 1941 Tania married William Gavre (originally Gavrelenka), a family friend whose cultural heritage was Russian and Georgian. William entered the Merchant Marines during the war and upon his return, became a painter and a safety engineer on the Golden Gate Bridge. During that time, Tania and Will raised four children: Yvonne, Mark, Laura and John. They lived together in San Francisco and Marin County until 1980, when Tania and Will moved to Garden Valley, Calif.
Tania created beautiful gardens of vegetables, fruits and flowers and learned to graft apple and pear trees. She was a devoted mother and gifted seamstress making shirts, trousers, dresses and jackets for her children. She always encouraged her children to follow their interests. At the age of 50, she finally learned to drive— an impressive feat!
Tania had a creative sensibility and a progressive conscience. In her 70s she studied floral design and basket weaving using native plant materials. She won blue ribbons for flower arranging and ran the Country Cupboard, as a member of the Divide Garden Club. She believed in environmental conservation and social justice. Writing letters to Congress about saving rivers and bird sanctuaries and supporting environmental groups was an important part of her life.
She is survived by three of her children, Yvonne (David Boyd), Mark (Gudrun Mirin) and Laura Gavre. Nephews include Robert Krase (Pamela), Steve Frankoni (Nancy) and John Krasilnikoff (Carol). Grandnieces and grandnephews include Stephanie Baccei (Robert), Alexander Krase (Yvette Jaquish), Nicholas Krase, Laura Krasilnikoff, Michael Krasilnikoff, Savina Baccei and Dmitri Krase.
She was especially proud of her three grandchildren, Aloysia Gavre-Wareham (Rex Camphuis), Vasili Gavre-Wareham (Mollie Ableman) and Victoria Anastasia Gavre – with whom she developed thoughtful relationships that continue to enrich their lives. She is lovingly remembered by her family and friends.