Irina and Kostya came to San Francisco during the Second World War, where Kostya, an engineer, was involved in the building of Liberty ships. Later, Kostya's engineering firm executed several high-profile projects. Irina's fashion design and art careers also flourished.
Among Irina's devotions were ballet and opera. She often entertained friends Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Sergei Leiferkus when they were in town. Natalia Makarova and Yuri Possokhov were often guests at Irina's Russian Christmas and Easter parties. She was a major contributor to the San Francisco Opera, maintaining a box during the season for many years.
In later years her Easter party preparations and recipes were featured in several magazines. The March 1978 issue of Sphere ran a multi-page article entitled A Russian Feast. Irina is pictured, with the caption:
An artist and connoisseur dedicated to preserving the Easter rituals of her St. Petersburg childhood, Mrs. Konstantin Beloteklin collects antique Russian Easter eggs and celebrates the holiday each year with a classic feast. Above, with her own paintings in the background, she displays a gilded egg that belonged to Czar Nicholas II; on the opposite page, the chilled vodkas, flavored with peppercorns, lemon peel and buffalo grass, that she prepares for the celebration.
She was greatly cultured, well-read, and a doyenne of the old school, and more than anything, was a wonderful conversationalist with amazing stories and historical vignettes to share.
She lived with her husband in San Francisco, California. They were devoted to their dogs, Samoyeds, Dushenka and Dushenka Deux. She died at home on January 21, 2009, at the age of 96.
Read more about this topic: Irina Belotelkin
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