Alla Subbotin (née Safonova), age 77, passed away at home on Thursday, August 3, 2023 surrounded by family and friends. Alla was born on August 10, 1945 in Poland, while her mother Irina Safonova (née Kuchuk), who was serving as nurse in the Soviet army, was returning home after the end of World War II. Irina and Alla's father, Mikhail Safonov, eventually settled in Novosibirsk, where Alla grew up. She completed medical school and defended a Ph.D. in histology before changing her specialization and practicing as a psychiatrist. She first met Vladimir Subbotin, her future husband and love of her life, in 1963, and they married in 1971. Their son Mikhail (Michael) was born in 1973. The family emigrated to the United States in 1991 and initially settled in Pittsburgh. In the U.S. Alla accepted new challenges and changed profession again, becoming in turn a histology technician, animal facility technician, molecular biology technician, and psychology researcher. She finally settled in Madison with her husband in 2000. In 2010, Alla and Vladimir began studying ballroom dancing, and this hobby brought them much joy over the years. After her retirement, Alla organized free dancing lessons for residents of an assisted living facility. Even while she was receiving cancer treatments, she was learning new choreography, participating in dancing competitions, and continuing to teach her free dancing lessons. With her devoted and tireless husband by her side, Alla fought cancer for over two years with astounding fortitude and grace, never allowing the illness to break her resolve to live a full and caring life. Her spirit has won the final battle.
Alla was the best wife and mother imaginable. She worked hard, often in challenging circumstances, to help provide for her family and create a nurturing home. She encouraged her son to find his own way in life and was always ready to share his interests. She enriched her husband’s life in ways that cannot be counted. She was a heartfelt friend, a wise counsel, a warm and generous host. She is survived and dearly missed by her husband Vladimir, her son Michael and her daughter-in-law Hélène and her sister-in-law Natalya.
A funeral service and gathering to celebrate Alla's life will take place on Saturday, August 5 2023 at Cress Funeral & Cremation Service, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, WI 53705. Alla’s ashes will be buried at the Middleton Junction Cemetery, 8409 Isaac Dr, Madison, WI 53717.
P.S. by Vladimir: Alla loved to hear me read poetry out loud. She would often say, usually before going to bed, "Vova, read some poetry," and I would always read her favorite poem by Brodsky, which begins: "We have lived together for so long that the second of January fell on a Tuesday again..." Some time ago I realized that we had known each other for 60 years and have been together for 55 years, and that I no longer know where one of us ends and the other begins. Now one half of us is gone and what is left is a half of her and a half of me.
Алла очень любила когда я ей читал стихи. Много раз она говорила, обычно перед сном – Вова, почитай стихи, и это всегда было одно и то же её любимое стихотворение Бродского 'Шесть лет спустя':
Так долго вместе прожили, что вновь
второе января пришлось на вторник...
Какое то время назад я вдруг осознал что мы знаем друг друга шестьдесят лет, и пятьдесят пять лет вместе, и что я уже не знаю где я а где она, и что получилось какое то новое единое существо из нас обоих. А теперь половина ушла, а то что осталось – это половина её и половина меня