Ilya Segalovich

Ilya Segalovich

On the 27th of July 2013 Ilya Segalovich, one of Maria’s Children Art Center’s co-founders, our devoted donor and volunteer, Maria Eliseeva’s husband, our dearest and nearest person, passed away.

Despite his huge engagement in Yandex, Ilya always found time to participate in our programmes. And that was him and the children who invented the name “Maria’s Children” for our center.

As recently as previous Sunday, the 21st of July, he visited our summer camp in Sorochany and before that he was actively involved in its arrangement, thinking over the ceremony of welcoming the children.

Most of the people knew Ilya as the founder of Yandex and one of the leading figures in the Internet technologies. But for our children he was an open-hearted friend, a very funny clown, an amateur stage director, the best “Clown telegraph” player and for many – the adoptive father. He taught children juggling, making dumplings, playing bouts-rimes, badminton, ping-pong, freesby and various clown games. Ilya used to recite poetry to them in a very artistic manner, enjoyed talking to them on a wide range of issues. He was a true role model for the children, influencing their philosophy, tastes and life choices. He was an adult you wanted to follow and to learn from.

Ilya was a unique person, very talented in diverse fields, with a vivid sense of humor. He had a deep understanding of all the things he was interested in (and there were so many of them!) and could inspire both children and grown-ups with his enthusiasm.

Ilya and Maria brought up five daughters, moreover, they always had several orphaned children and orphanage graduates living with them or visiting their house on week-ends and holidays. Their family and the studio are inseparable from each other.

Ilya’s passing is an irreparable loss for all of us. We feel orphaned…

Here are some photos of Ilya's life at Maria's Children