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Andrew Tokmakoff

April 07, 2011

Andrew Tokmakoff

Andrew Tokmakoff, a 45 year resident of Glendale, passed away on April 4th at the Glendale Country Villa Convalescent Hospital.

He was born in Hankow, (Wu Han) China in 1917, the middle child of Katherine Tsirool of Riga, Latvia and Benjamin Tokmakoff of Khyatka, Buriat Republic, Russia.

Andrew spent most of his young adult life in Shanghai, China, where he received his college degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Henry Lester Institute of Technical Education. During World War II and after the war, he worked as an engineer at the Shanghai Power Company.

While working at the power company during the war, he barely escaped with his life after being trapped for almost 24 hours after an American bombing raid. He was grateful for his salvation to the Archangel St. Michael, on whose Names Day he had escaped with his life. He promised to name his first son after the Saint for protecting him.

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Andrew was married to Galina Iskvorina in June 1944. Their first child, Veronica, was born in 1945 in Shanghai.

In 1949, Andrew was forced by the Chinese Communist takeover to leave China with his wife and four year-old-daughter for displaced persons camp for stateless Russian exiles on the Philippine Island of Tubabao in Eastern Samar. After living in a tent camp for a year and a half, his family was able to immigrate to the United States.

He first worked as a machinist and later as a draftsman at the Otis Elevator Company in San Francisco. In 1957, he went to work as an engineer for the State of California Public Utilities Commission. He was promoted to Senior Engineer and transferred to Los Angeles in 1965. He retired from the PUC in 1982 after 25 years of supervising rate increase requests by private telephone and water utility companies.

He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Galina; his daughter, Veronica Tokmakoff of El Cerrito; his son, Michael and daughter-inlaw, Susan Tokmakoff of Glendale; three step granddaughters; five step great-grandchildren; and a sister, Nina Siemssen of Hamburg, Germany. A nephew, Friedrich Siemssen in Hamburg, and a niece, Vera Tokmakova, and a brother, Volode, preceded him in death.

Pannykhida and funeral services were held at Holy Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Silver Lake. Burial was at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood.

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