Alina Scharko, affectionately known as Basa, passed away on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at Theda Clark Hospital due to a severe stroke. She was surrounded by her loving family at the time of her passing. She lived her 92 years of life to the fullest - two days before her passing, she enjoyed eating cream puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair. She was born in Smolensk, Russia on July 29, 1922. Basa loved nature and animals, and she taught these values to her family. She found joy in the simple pleasures of life, including flower gardens and her cats, as well as drives through the countryside. She was always up for an adventure, especially if it included a trip to visit family. She was an avid reader and enjoyed catching up on politics and current events each day. She was kind, gentle and caring and had a delightful sense of humor and vivid imagination. She was a truly remarkable person with an unwavering spirit, as can be attested to by anyone who had the pleasure of knowing her. Her faith in God was solid and she was a confirmed member of Martin Luther Church.
Basa survived the totality of World War II and lost many of her family members. She was captured by German soldiers and could not return to her home in Russia after the war. In post-war Europe, she met the love of her life, Nick Scharko, another displaced Russian, whom many lovingly called "Moose." They were married on October 23, 1947 and enjoyed 43 years of marriage and had a beautiful family together. Following the war they were sponsored by the Methodist Church to come to America, after an emigration official decided their fate with a coin flip. When they arrived on June 30, 1950, they were greeted by fireworks over the Statue of Liberty. They were assigned to go to Plainfield, Wisconsin. Together they worked in the fields and soon saved enough money to move to Neenah, Wisconsin. They proudly built their home and raised their family on Sterling Street. They met many great friends who supported their new life as American citizens. Basa worked for the Kimberly Clark Corporation for thirty years. After Nick's death in 1990, Alina became the matriarch of the family, a responsibility which she took seriously. Her family was blessed to be led by her.
Alina is survived by her three children Helen Chizhova of Smolensk, Russia, Alexander Scharko MD of Philadelphia, and Mary Flatt (Pat Flegle) who owns Salon M in Neenah. Basa is also survived by six grandchildren Sergei Khochin of Smolensk, Frances Steele (Doran) of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Marilyn Scharko of Chicago, Illinois, Michelle Trumpy (Timothy) of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nicole Scharko of Bloomington, Indiana, and Natasha Flatt of Chicago, Illinois. Her great-grandchildren were certainly a highlight in her life: Adelaide, Imogen and baby girl Steele due in November, Alexandra Trumpy, Nicholas Shores, Athena Scharko, Jeremy Zavorski, Penelope Deland, and two granddaughters in Russia, and a great-great grandchild, Viviana. Basa is also survived by her special friends, Kay Phillips and Kabir Bhatt, and her wonderful neighbors and dear friends the Wenda Family.
The memorial service will be held at 1 PM, Sat. Aug. 16, 2014 at Martin Luther Church (436 S. Lake St.) in Neenah. Her family will receive visitors starting at noon at church.
A special thank you to Theda Clark ICU team, especially nurses Angie, Tabbitha, Leah, and Maria. We appreciate the care and compassion that Dr. Gizelle Larson and nurse practitioner, Kathy Shine showed to Alina and our family during this difficult time. We are also grateful for the excellent care that Basa received in the latter years of her life from her primary care physician, Kelly Krueger.
Memorials in lieu of flowers appreciated.
Basa, we love you without end.
Brettschneider-Trettin-Nickel Funeral Chapel
606 N Oneida St Appleton, WI 54911
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent from Aug. 14 to Aug. 15, 2014