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Dr. Dimitri N. Breschinsky, 73, died suddenly on October 4, 2012, at St. Elizabeth Central Hospital in Lafayette, Indiana.
He was born on November 30, 1938, in Beijing, China, to Ekaterina and Nestor Breschinsky, Russian émigrés, who had fled Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. His family left China in 1939, fleeing Communism a second time. Eventually they settled in New York City, where he attended Columbia College as an undergraduate and then he received his Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literatures from Vanderbilt University. On September 4, 1966, he married Zinaida A. Zukov in Glen Cove, New York.
He came to Purdue in the fall of 1972 and taught until the time of his passing Russian language, literature and culture in the School of Languages and Cultures. His primary areas of research were Old Russian literature, as well as, nineteenth century Russian authors. All his life he was an avid lover of nature, thus it was natural for him to become interested in the American nature writer and environmentalist Loren Eiseley. He introduced Loren Eiseley to the Russian reader, by publishing in Russia two volumes of his Russian translations of the author. He also became an established Eiseley scholar in the U.S., writing scholarly articles on the same author in English. In addition, for many years Dr. Breschinsky was affiliated with the U.S. State Department, serving as a simultaneous Russian/English/Russian interpreter. He was a true bilingual and felt at home in both languages and cultures.
He is survived by his wife, Dr. Zinaida Breschinsky, of West Lafayette, Indiana; his brother- and sister-in-law Nicolas and Gail Zukov; as well as his nephew Michael Zukov, all of Toronto, Canada.
No service is planned.
Published in the Journal & Courier from Oct. 6 to Oct. 7, 2012