Victoria Ivanovna Anne Bigelow of Bloomington, IN, 59 years old, passed away on October 8th, 2020. Her family and friends are left devastated at the sudden and entirely unexpected passing of our profoundly kind and free spirited Victoria. Victoria was a true lover of music, art, and animals, and found refuge in nature’s surroundings. She was a beautiful woman who never appreciated the true extent of her allure, but the image of her as a beautiful soul who longed for eternal peace will nevertheless endure in our minds.
Victoria was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on July 6th, 1961 and raised by her mother, Anya Martianoff, and stepfather, Phil Wilmore, with brothers John, Alex, and Michael. She grew up on the east side of Indianapolis in Irvington, graduating high school in the class of 1979 from Howe High School. As a young woman, Victoria proudly served in the U.S. Army utilizing her Russian language expertise to work in communications.
Victoria settled in Bloomington where she raised her two children, Nicholas and Alexandria. As her daughter, Alexandria experienced joy in watching her mother grow out of the trappings of the self-doubt that plagued her as a young woman. Victoria worried about her ability to raise a girl, but through her ferocious support, no woman could have better prepared her daughter to be a strong woman. Likewise, although she was concerned about raising Nicholas as a single mother, her unrelenting advocacy for her children demonstrated the strength and respect he needed to grow into a good man.
While Victoria’s capacity to nurture the oddities and idiosyncrasies that make each of us unique made her a natural at raising her children, she also inspired everyone around her, encouraging them to shed the weight of expectation, not be defined by their careers, put self-care at the top of their list of priorities, love their children, speak up about their needs, always champion the underdogs, spoil pets as family, set boundaries, and, when all else fails, to let it be.
Victoria held a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Indiana University and was an immensely talented artist who worked with a variety of mediums to create art that reflected her own graceful complexity. She enjoyed teaching classes at the John Waldron Arts Center and substitute teaching art at Bloomington-area elementary schools. Her passionate creativity could be seen in all aspects of her life: She loved to create unique gifts for her loved ones, playful floral arrangements, dynamic merchandise displays at various occupations, and possessed an eclectic sense of fashion. She delighted especially in designing Halloween costumes, which makes the date of her celebration of life service quite appropriate.
Late in her life, Victoria traveled abroad to teach children in China and Vietnam. She loved traveling and thrived on warm, sunny, white sandy beaches most of all. She prided herself on a minimalist lifestyle and preferred utilizing her resources for adventure and meaningful experiences such as kayaking, hiking, and boating at Lake Monroe and Lake Griffy with family and friends. Victoria was proud to be known as a true hippie with a gentle soul. Her dedication to ongoing personal growth and learning is something we all ought strive for, especially in dark times. Victoria felt called to activism in recent years, attending multiple demonstrations demanding an end to injustice and inequality. She was fearful for the world, but hopeful about watching it heal.
Victoria laughed with her whole body and lived with her whole heart. While those of us who are left behind feel she is gone entirely too soon, it gives us comfort that she was always at peace with the concept of death, and would have accepted and embraced the opportunity to pass quietly while she slept. She will never age to us, nor fade, but will remain vibrant and alive in our memories.
Victoria Ivanovna is preceded in death by her mother.
Victoria is survived by her two children, stepfather, three brothers, six nieces, three great nephews, her cat, and a huge network of other adoring friends and family.
A graveside service will be held at Rosehill Cemetery with family and close friends Friday, October 30th, 2020.
Memorial services will be held at Indiana Funeral Care in Indianapolis on Saturday October 31st, 2020 from 1:00pm-4:00pm.
A special event of music and remembrance will be held at the American Legion Hall in Broad Ripple, Indianapolis at 5:00pm with a release of lanterns at 7pm.