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Emma Sloboden
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Emma (Lushenko) Sloboden, 95, passed away on Dec. 19, 2009.

She was a resident of Merrill Gardens, Manteca.

Born on Jan. 25, 1914 in Kief, North Dakota, she was the daughter of Peter and Mathilda (Emilienko) Lushenko, who had immigrated from near Kiev, Ukraine to the U.S. in the early 1900s. The family soon bought a farm and built a house in Greatstone Township and she attended school there. For her high school years she stayed with, and worked for a family to earn her room and board while attending Minot, ND High School

She and Alex Sloboden were married in 1934. During the depression the family moved to Lodi, California and then to Richmond during the WWII years for a job at the shipyards, later moving to El Cerrito. They purchased a walnut orchard near Farmington in 1960, which they operated until Alex passed away in 1973. Emma then moved to Paddack's Mobile Manor in Escalon, residing there until her later years when she moved to Merrill Gardens in Manteca.

She attended Contra Costa Community College in Richmond and held several interesting jobs in Richmond, Treasure Island, San Francisco and then retiring from Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. in Modesto before taking on a long list of volunteer jobs, including grammar school teacher's aide, serving meals to seniors for many years at the Escalon Community Center, serving on Election Board voting days, and cooking and serving for many church and social events as well as game nights.

Mrs. Sloboden loved her Lord and Savior and was a former member of churches in North Dakota and of the Evangelical Free Church and Metropolitan Baptist Churches in Richmond and then was a longtime member of the Escalon Covenant Church. She had a gift of hospitality, often opening her home over many years for Bible studies and was always available to drive others that had ceased driving or had no transportation to church or various medical and other appointments as well as shopping trips. She made lasting friends easily everywhere she went.

Survivors include her sister Florence Lorraine Teigen of Oliver, B.C.; children, son Alex J. Sloboden and his wife Gloria of Farmington; daughter Angeline H. Binggeli and her husband Donald of Oakland; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Contributions may be sent in her name to the Escalon Covenant Church supported missionaries or the General Fund, 1155 Escalon Avenue, Escalon, CA 95320 or the Bus Ministry of Central Valley Baptist Church, 10948 So. Airport Way, Manteca, CA 95336, or the Bible distribution ministry of Gideons, International.

Memorial services at Escalon Covenant Church and Merrill Gardens in Manteca are pending.

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

Jan. 13, 2010