Matushka Barbara Sokolov

On the afternoon of Sunday, October 12, 2008, Matushka Barbara Sokolov fell asleep in the Lord at home, surrounded by most of her children.

During the summer, she had been diagnosed with an aggressive lung cancer, against which she waged a valiant battle.  Throughout her illness, she was a model of faith in Our Lord, gratefully accepting the prayers and comfort of her children and countless faithful at home and elsewhere.

She was the wife of the late Archpriest Victor Sokolov, dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral, San Francisco, CA, who died of cancer at the age of 59 on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 12, 2006.

Born Barbara Wrahtz of Glendale, CA, she had been working in Moscow in the mid-1970s when she met her husband, at that time a dissident writer and human rights activist in the USSR.  His writings, published in the underground “samizdat,” were smuggled to the West and broadcast back into the USSR via Radio Liberty and Voice of America.  In 1975, after he embraced Orthodox Christianity, the couple was married.

Because of his anti-Soviet activities, Mr. Sokolov was forced to immigrate to the US, where he was reunited with Barbara, who was his true friend, companion, and the mother of their five children.

After Father Victor’s graduation from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY, in 1985, he and Matushka Barbara served Holy Resurrection Church, Vancouver, BC, Canada; various missions; and Saints Peter and Paul Church, Buffalo, NY.  In 1991, they relocated to San Francisco, where Father Victor served as dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral until his repose in 2006.

Matushka Barbara is survived by two sons—the Rev. Protodeacon Kirill and his wife, Sophia, with their children; Philip and his wife Marie; and three daughters—Tamara, Anna, and Maria.

A Panikhida will be celebrated for Matushka Barbara at 6:00 p.m. Monday, October 13, 2008, at Saint Seraphim of Sarov Church, Santa Rosa, CA.  The Funeral Service will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 14, at 7:00 PM.  The following morning, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:30 AM, with interment at Healdsburg Cemetary.  A memorial meal will follow at the Church.

Further details will be posted on the OCA web site and in Nativity/Theophany 2008 issue of “The Orthodox Church” magazine as they become available.

May Matushka Barbara’s memory be eternal!