In Memoriam
27th July 2014
Elena Jonaitis (1920.06.04 – 2014.05.30)
Elena Jonaitis
Elena Jonaitis, the noted Australian-Lithuanian author and prominent member of the Australian Lithuanian community, passed away in Sydney on May 30th, 2014. The Lithuanian community in Sydney and elsewhere in Australia was very saddened by her death. A Requiem Mass was celebrated for Elena on June 6th at Mary, Mother of Mercy Chapel, Rookwood, followed by a wake at Sydney Lithuanian Club, Bankstown, where she was farewelled by a large group of friends and relatives.
Elena Kabailaitė Žižienė - Jonaitis was born in Lithuania in 1920. After the horrors of World War II, the immediate post-war years were spent in displaced persons' camps in Germany, followed by migration to Australia in 1949. After the death of her husband Vytautas Žižys in Melbourne, she married Izidorius Jonaitis, a prominent member of the Sydney Lithuanian community, and moved to Sydney in 1965. In Sydney she continued to be an active member of the Lithuanian community, as she had been in Melbourne.
She was the author of "Elena's Journey", published in 1997, which received critical acclaim (please see The book describes "Elena’s struggle to save herself and her children, first from the Russians and then from the Germans in war torn Europe, renders vividly both the privations and the helplessness of being a refugee" (QUADRANT) and "Traces a particularly eventful and poignant nine years with clarity and a feeling for narrative.." (HERALD SUN).
She is survived by daughters Rasa and Eglė, son Arūnas, and brother Algimantas Kabaila and their families.

Elena, the Sydney Lithuanian community will miss you!