Julia Nakas (Julija Zalkauskaite Nakiene) was born on November 3, 1924 in Panevezys, Lithuania to Stasys Zalkauskas and Maria Kamarauskas. While she was still a toddler, her father left for South America to look for gold and never returned, leaving her mother to work in a meatpacking plant to raise her and two other children. As a teen, she fled from the advancing Russian front and wound up in a displaced person (“DP”) camp in Germany. In 1948 Julia came to work as a domestic in Canada where she met and married Algirdas Nakas, also a DP, who resided in the US. There they had three children, raising them in a variety of settings including the Arizona desert and industrial Michigan. Eventually, she was reunited with her mother who had suffered greatly under Soviet occupation but was released to live with her adult children in the U.S. until her death in 1978. Julia finally retired with her husband among fellow Lithuanian-Americans in Sunny Hills, FL.
Julia’s life was not always easy, but she lived it to the fullest, accepting both joy and sorrow with abiding faith, good humor and great love for her family, community and circle of friends. She was an active member of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sunny Hills, Florida. She also participated in the many cultural activates and charities of the Sunny Hills Lithuanian Community. Retirement gave her time to travel and even return to visit her newly freed homeland, Lithuania.
Julia passed from this life on June 1, 2018 at her home in Sunny Hills FL at age 93, surrounded by her children. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband: Algirdas Nakas; brother: Antanas Zalkauskas. She is survived by her daughter: Ruta Nakas Plemmons and husband Michael of Lynn Haven, Florida; two sons: Algirdas Nakas of Millinocket, Maine, Kestutis Nakas and wife Audre of Chicago, Illinois; sister: Emily Poulik of Panama City Beach, Florida; five grandchildren: Michael, Amanda, Krista, Andrew, Kajus; one great grandchild: Jaxson.
Funeral services will be held 11A.M. Friday, June 8, 2018 at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sunny Hills, Florida with Father Dustin Feddon officiating. The family will receive friends for visitation one hour prior to the service at the church. Obert Funeral Home of Chipley, Florida directing.
Julia loved this poem:
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
Rest in Peace, mama. We love you.