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1940 Izolda 2024

Izolda Maria Schroeder Georgiades

September 20, 1940 — April 18, 2024

College Station

Izolda Maria Schroeder Georgiades was born in Gdansk, Poland on September 20, 1940, at the beginning of World War II.  She had three sisters (one of whom died during her childhood) and their father was killed by the Russians during the war; their mother Elizabeth remarried Felix Badziong who raised the girls as his own. During the war, the family was split up and her oldest sister Rita was sent with family to Germany to escape the Russians.  Elizabeth and Felix welcomed two more children and Izolda and her siblings enjoyed a happy childhood amid their chaotic post-war upbringing.  Izolda abhorred any garment in green because the color reminded her of depredations committed by the Russians in her beloved Poland.  She attended university in Gdansk and earned a degree in art history.  Throughout her entire life, Izolda stayed committed to and promoted Polish artists around the world, assembling an eclectic collection of original work.  

In 1959, upon meeting a “dashing emergency room doctor with a leather jacket and a motorcycle”, she married Jerzy (George) Alexander Georgiades in Gdansk and welcomed their only beloved son, George Bogdan Georgiades, in 1961.  Following George’s birth, the family moved to Krakow, Poland where Jerzy joined the faculty of the university, teaching Virology and Immunology.   At the time, despite Izolda’s keen interest in art and couture fashion, she was a devoted mother to her “precious boy”.

In the mid-60s, the family relocated to Naples, Italy where Dr. Georgiades joined the faculty at the University of Naples.  George recalls that his mother thrived in Italy and found the most amazing outlets for her love of art and fashion.  During that time, Dr. Georgiades was traveling the world as a world-renowned expert in infectious disease, so Izolda and her son George were constantly together.   She always said he was “He was my little buddy and the best boy!”  Her unyielding devotion to her son George continued to her last day.

In 1971, the Georgiades Family moved to Houston when Dr. Georgiades joined the faculty at MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and eventually left clinical practice to create several biotechnology companies.  The fascinating story of Izolda’s relocation to Houston occurred when Dr. Georgiades went ahead to Houston.  Upon the discovery that the family was being surveilled by the communist Polish Secret Police, Izolda took her young son, arranged passage on the S.S. Doctor Lykes freighter and traveled across the Atlantic to New Orleans.   George recalls the most exciting journey because, as a young boy, he had the run of the ship.  Due to the ongoing monitoring by the Polish Secret Police, Jerzy and Izolda were never able to return to their homeland of Poland until the communist government was overturned.  

In Houston, Izolda expanded her love for fashion and art and became involved in Houston’s thriving art scene and created a following as a personal shopper, specializing in couture designs at Neiman-Marcus, Isabel Gerhardt and Saks Fifth Avenue.  Izolda’s sense of style and elegance permeated everything she did – from formal dinner parties to her eclectic taste in jewelry and fashion.  Izolda was always perfectly coiffed, but known for her sense of fun and frivolity, always “fashionably later’ but ever the life of the party!  She was willing to share “the bread of life” – Polish vodka - and was an incredibly creative hostess with her guests.  Izolda was the embodiment of European Elegance.

Izolda and Jerzy were completely devoted for 62 years until his passing in 2021.  It is only fitting that Izolda passed peacefully on April 18, 2024 – Jerzy’s birthday - and reunited with him for eternity.  She leaves her only beloved son, George and “his lady” Kelley; the apples of her eye, grandson George Ian “Jake” and wife Haley, granddaughter Mary Katherine “Kate”; in-laws Gerald and Susanne Sullivan and the entire Sullivan Family; numerous nieces and nephews in Poland, Germany and England as well as friends around the world.  Very special thanks are offered to Ricky and the caring staff at Sodalis Senior Living and Kellie, Cecilia and the staff at Amedisys Hospice in College Station.  The family will celebrate Izolda and Jerzy’s reunion privately and ask that, in lieu of flowers, any remembrances may be sent to the Georgiades Family Scholarship at Texas A&M University Account 34312 or mail to Texas A&M Foundation, 401 George Bush Drive, College Station, TX 77840 and note Izolda Georgiades Memorium – Acct. 34312 in the memo.

Izolda sense of style, grace, elegance and zest for life will be admired for generations, despite the challenges she faced in her childhood.  She was the embodiment of a positive outlook and dogged determination to endure.  In the immortal words of Jimmy Buffett, “some of it’s magic, some of it’s tragic.  But I had a good life all the way."

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