Inge was born in Germany but raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. She attended the German high school there, and went off to Grenoble, France to begin her studies at the university. Her college career was short-lived since here family sent for her in 1940 to come home and, in short order, board a ship bound for America. Her family landed in New York City and started a new life there. In 1943, she met Victor Zadikov on a blind date, and married him a year later. It turned out that they had both attended the same school in Sofia, but had never met. They had a wonderful life playing tennis, sailing a small craft on the Long Island Sound, and skiing in the winter. Daughter Maggie was born in 1949 and son Greg in 1951. Soon after, the family moved into a newly constructed house in Wantagh, Long Island. Inge was very involved in community activities in Forest City, as their neighborhood was called. The family became members of the Ethical Culture Society of Long Island, similar to the Unitarian Universalist fellowship. Maggie and Greg attended Sunday School there.

After the kids left home for college, Inge became involved with US Literacy Volunteers. Over the course of twenty years, she taught dozens of new immigrants English as a second language as well as how to read English. Her students adored her. She was honored with a state level of recognition for her years of service.

Inge and Victor enjoyed a life filled with travel to places all over the globe, enjoying golf or downhill skiing in each spot they visited. Inge eventually went to work as a French/English secretary, utilizing one of her seven foreign languages. The two enjoyed folk dancing until well into their eighties.

In 2001, they moved to Jefferson’s Ferry, a continuing care retirement community in South Setauket, Suffolk County. They loved their new community and made many new friends while enjoying the amenities of their new home. Inge was the one taking photos of residents and placing them in albums for all to enjoy. She was always walking from place to place, visiting people in Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing and functioning like a one-woman Welcome Wagon. Inge and Victor continued to folk dance there, played bridge and enjoyed live classical music performances on site.

Just after celebrating their 60th Wedding Anniversary, Victor’s health started to decline. He died in August of 2007, a few days prior to Inge’s birthday. After his passing, Inge continued to be of service as much as possible, continuing her daily visits to others less mobile than she. She started going to T’ai Chi classes instead of dancing.

As Inge’s life ended just a few days ago, just days after Victor’s birthday, I have had time to reflect on all the blessings in my own life. My parents instilled in me a spirit of independence and curiosity for which I am so grateful. And to have had the modeling of a couple who loved each other for sixty plus years is a rarity in this culture. I realize how many of my mom’s gifts have been passed down to me - my love of the dance, classical music and world travel being of note. The outpouring of love and support since Inge’s death has really moved me. Even her physician of twenty years commented on how “Inge and Victor really touched my life”. I feel held by my own community as I am now the next generation, looking my own mortality in the eye.

Maggie Zadikov, May 2012