Maria Irma Thurstan
  • Born on: August 2, 1928
  • Departed on: December 26, 2017
  • Resided in: Cedar Rapids, IA

Maria Irma Thurstan

Maria Irma Thurstan, 89, ,died peacefully at Hallmar Continuing Care on Tuesday, Dec.26 after a brief illness, with her daughter at her side.

She is survived by her son, James Thurstan; daughter, Rosemary Darbonne; grandchildren, Tamara Thurstan and David Darbonne.

Maria was born in Petrovaradin, Yugoslavia. She lived with her parents and brother outside the city walls, close to the River Danube. They were Roman Catholic. Her father was a business man. He took the family fishing and on picnics when he was home. Maria also enjoyed bike riding, swimming and her mother’s cooking on their wood stove. Maria's grandfather tended to his vineyard, they had plenty of fruit and vegetables from their garden. Life was good!

W.W.II came and changed everything for Maria's family. During the war Maria's only brother Viktor, was killed, he was only 22. Maria was 15 at the time. Her family decided it was time to leave home and cross over to Hungary where her aunt lived. Hungary also became Russian occupied. Being a refugee had many challenges for Maria, especially difficult was the shortage of food. It took 3 years for them to work their way through Hungary and Austria to West Germany and finally freedom. After 2 years in Bavaria they received citizenship. At the time there was no work, high inflation and black market activity.

Maria saw a sign in the employment office for work available in the textile industry for women without attachment.  She took a big step of faith and set sail with a group of women to England for a new life. After getting settled Maria decided to take some private English lessons. Her teacher thought it would be a good idea for Maria to meet some of her friends. Through these friends Maria met Michael Thurstan, he was home on leave. After that they wrote to each other. A year later they were engaged, in August 1953 they were married. They went to Bavaria on their honeymoon and that is when Maria's parents met their new son.

Mike and Maria lived in Kent, England. After several years their son James was born, four years later their daughter Rosemary. 

In 1968 the family moved to Seattle Washington, .Maria was a homemaker. Mike worked for Boeing and retired in 1988. They moved to Sequim Washington on the Olympic Peninsula in 1991. They loved the area and made many friends, they attended Sequim Community Church.

Mike passed away in 2005. In 2010 Maria's moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to be close to her daughter. A special thank you to Carol with Steven's Ministry for helping to make this possible.

The Lord guided both Maria and Mike Thurstan to become "Born Again Christians"

Maria was preceded by her husband, Michael Thurstan; parents,Viktor and Maria Ruzicka; brother, Victor Ruzicka.

In lieu of flowers, memorial to may be directed to Systems Unlimited.     
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