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Luba Kadvany


1915 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Luba Kadvany Obituary
June 21, 1915 - February 26, 2016 Luba Kadvany, beloved by so many, died peacefully in Long Beach on February 26, a century young. Born in Luck, Poland (Lutsk, now in Ukraine) into a family of seven siblings soon overwhelmed by world catastrophe, Luba kept on the move, finding jobs as a laboratory technician, with precious protectors keeping her a step ahead of the Nazis. Making her way to Budapest, Luba worked as a hospital nurse, meeting her husband to be, Sandor/Alex, with both living out the German-Russian siege at war's end ministering to civilian patients and soldiers in the basement of the Buda Central Hospital. Luba fled Hungary first, escorting Italian POWs home in the role of an International Red Cross nurse, with Sanyi following later; they married in Rome in May, 1946. They made their way by ship to New York City and then, in a newly affordable car, cross-county to California, finally settling in Long Beach. Luba immediately became friend and mentor to every new Euro-American she met, facilitating their personal and cultural reinvention as much as her own. She spoke seven languages competently, ultimately none with fluency, but all with the verve and charm of an ambitious generation making up for so many lost years. Luba's house became a meeting ground for mittleuropa types from opera stars to sketchy royalty, all seduced by this Polish butterfly of magical beauty and joie de vivre. Energetic and cosmopolitan, Luba worked with the young United Nations, and supported Long Beach arts by organizing the 'Concerts under the Stars' in Bixby Park aided by émigré musician friends. Beside raising her family and acting as contractor for her stunning home, Luba found her metier in southland real estate, becoming the ever-generous landlord to lucky denizens of her Los Angeles and Hollywood apartments. Luba's circle of friends was as wide as the globe, and she led the way with Sanyi to spend several weeks a year together in Europe, often in Budapest, a place to find their younger selves in a world lost but far from forgotten. Luba Kadvany was a force of nature, sweeping all off their feet with cunning smiles and infectious laughter, guided by a deep will to survive and an optimism that she and others could create the good life because nothing else matters. Luba was predeceased by Sanyi in 2009, and by her beloved sister Zenia Matis of Montréal in 2013. She is survived by her daughter Gingi of Long Beach, son John of Menlo Park, grandchildren Daniel and Elena Kadvany and Alex Negvesky, daughter-in-law Susan Gillman, son-in-law David Negvesky and niece Barbra Matis. Luba's outsized and vivacious spirit lives on in the memories of all those she knew and touched.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 16 to Mar. 20, 2016
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