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Augusta (Titoff) Prewett-GunnOctober 17, 1926 ~ November 21, 2017 (age 91)
Augusta Winters Prewett-Gunn peacefully passed in the early morning hours of November 21, 2017 at Cheerful Heart Home, an assisted living facility. This was her home for the past 6 months. She received excellent care. Her caregivers Gabi, Lumi and Richard were devoted to her. Lumi was with her when she died. Augusta was 91.
Augusta was born October 17, 1926 in Hardin, China to her mother Tatania and her father Vinamin Belitsky.
Augusta’s maternal grandmother, Baroness Anna Titoff was a member of the White Russian aristocracy of the Romanoff dynasty. The Baroness was warned by her maid of the coming bloody 1917-18 revolution. The maid sewed Augusta’s grandmother’s clothes with her jewels and urged the Baroness to flee Russia with her husband and daughter. The Baroness with her husband Serge and daughter Tatania left Belarus, Russia and arrived in China by rail in their own private rail car. Tatania, Augusta’s mother, became a successful oral surgeon. Augusta grew up in a large home with many servants. She was educated in Shanghai at the French convent’s Academy of the Sacred Heart.
By 1937 the Japanese had invaded Manchuria and captured Shanghai. Augusta and her parents were able to escape to the Philippines.
After the war Augusta met her husband, Dick Winters. He was a Marine pilot who had been released after one year in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. Dick was captured after his plane had been shot down. Augusta and Dick fell in love and planned to marry. When Dick returned to the United States he arranged to have Augusta flown by China Clipper to San Francisco. In 1949 Augusta and Dick were married at his parents ranch in Nebraska. Dick and Augusta both enjoyed hunting and fishing on the ranch. They also had a love of sports cars, especially the Jaguar.
After Dick and Augusta divorced in 1966, Augusta worked as a hostess at La Paz Restaurant in the Town & Country Center near her Park Santiago, Santa Ana home.
In 1967 Augusta married Naval pilot, Clarence Prewett. He was stationed in Pensacola, Florida. They enjoyed sailing and water skiing daily. Pensacola was one of Augusta’s favorite residences. When Augusta and Clarence divorced she moved to San Francisco to be close to her mother Tatania and Augusta’s step father, Serge Barabash who owned a silver company.
It was there that Augusta met and married Jack Gunn, a nuclear scientist based in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Jack and Augusta lived in Santa Fe, where Augusta became involved in the art community. She loved to draw and paint and work with ceramics. She had her own kiln. After Jack retired they moved to Grand’s Pass, Oregon. When Jack Gunn passed, Augusta returned to their beautiful Park Santiago, Santa Ana home of 40 years. Augusta loved entertaining her many long time friends, Bertie Bruce, Marion De Vol and Jean Harris with glittering dinner parties. She invited her wonderful neighbors, Julie and David, Rebecca and Steve, Dan and Peggy and Dennis to her many gatherings. Konstantine her cousin kept in touch. He and his son made the trip down from San Francisco several times to see her. Most impressive were the long friendships that she maintained for decades.
In the last years of her life, she had caregivers to assist her with everyday tasks. Make no mistake she was always in charge but there were things she needed help with. Ofelia had committed to her for years, and then in 2016 Augusta enjoyed the love and care of her friend and caregiver, Debbie, who along with Augusta’s long time and dear friend Dennis looked after her and tended to her affairs. Debbie and Dennis loved and respected her and made sure she was well cared for and treated with dignity. Augusta was a life long devotee of the ballet and treated her close friends on many occasions to the Performing Arts Center’s productions of ballet and opera. She was an interesting, elegant, demanding, proud, strong, assertive and capable woman. She will forever be in the hearts of many who knew her. She will be missed by all that knew her including her recent friends, Vicki and Betty of Villa Park, Ca. Augusta requested cremation and her ashes spread out at sea with no service.