Milena Coton, who left Communist Czechoslovakia and became a designer at General Electric, died on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014. She was 87.
She had lived at the Manor of Carpenters Estates in Lakeland, Fla. with her loving husband of 42 years, Harry P. Coton.
Mrs. Coton was born on Feb. 27, 1926 in Prague, Czechoslovakia to parents Frantisek and Marie Drevikovsky.
“In 1966, after a long and arduous battle with the Communist regime, and with the help of her sister and brother-in-law, she obtained permission to immigrate to the United States,” her family wrote in at tribute. “She moved with her only son, Edward, to Schenectady, where she attended night school to learn English, took a citizenship course, and brushed up on her profession.”
Shortly after moving to Schenectady, she accepted a job at General Electric Co. as a draftsman, later becoming a designer in the generator department.
Mrs. Coton was also an avid painter and was particularly interested and skilled at Chinese painting.
Melina Coton is survived by her husband, Harry P. Coton, of Lakeland, Fla.; son Edward P. Mikulcik and his wife, Connie, of Peachtree City, Ga.; two step-children, William H. Coton and his wife, Donna, of Knox; and Terry L. Schell and her husband, Daniel, of West Berne; brother-in-law Henry Hegetschwiler of Peachtree City, Ga.; sister-in-law Elisabeth Drevikovsky of Australia; eight grandchildren including, locally, Elizabeth Mikulcik of New York City, Heather Coton of Cambridge, Matthew Coton of Bethlehem, Rebecca (née Schell) Rockwell of Esperance, and Jessica (née Schell) Anderson of Sutton, Mass.; as well as eight great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held March 8 at Carpenter's Estates in Lakeland, Fla., and at the Lynnwood Reformed Church on Carman Road in Guilderland on May 3 at 2:30 p.m.