Eva Marie Kragovich Strong


Eva Marie Kragovich Strong was born March 18th, 1912, in Lackawanna, NY (a suburb of Buffalo), to Marko and Ludwiga Zrodlo Kragovich. She was very active with her Father in the Serbian Orthodox Church. She remembered ringing the Church bells and being pulled up by the ropes because she was so light. Eva was orphaned at age 9 and lived an uncomfortable life for the next few years with step parents and her younger sister and brother.


Eva, at age 15, and her siblings moved into Buffalo to live with a previously unknown family to take care of that family’s child and house after school while caring and supporting her own siblings. She entered Hutchinson Central High School.

Eva married Roswell Stephen Strong in Buffalo on August 31st, 1935. They had a daughter, Barbara and later lost an infant son. The family lived in Eggertsville, then moved to Rochester. During the next 6 years, they lived in 3 houses – remodeling them extensively themselves. The last one was a large “family farm” in Penfield where they grew acres of hybrid corn, tomatoes, and beans; dahlias and chrysanthemums and raised beagles and chickens for resale through World War Two.

They then moved to Ebenezer for one year, then East Aurora for a year, where she was a Girl Scout Leader. In 1950 they moved to Irondequoit (a suburb of Rochester) and owned a Culligan Soft Water franchise, where Eve (as she wa known on the East Coast) did all the bookkeeping. Though not a musician herself, Eve gave Barbara music, art, and dance lessons. She was a staunch supporter of Tally Ho Music Camp, which Barb attended.

In 1954 they sold the business and moved back to East Aurora. A year later they bought the Roycroft Gift Shop, which was the former Copper Shop of Elbert Hubbard’s Roycrofters – a thriving arts and crafts colony in the early 1900s. Eva turned the Gift Shop into a beautiful “shopping experience”, where one could outfit a whole party – from a sterling silver punch bowl to the napkins and candles for the table. People would come from Buffalo for the day (a 16 mile drive) to shop there, then have lunch at the Roycroft Inn. Many small business employees received yearly Christmas gifts purchased by their bosses at the Shop. She encouraged many local artisans in their craft and sold their wares in the Shop.

Eva and Ros sold the Shop in 1969 and moved to Bellevue, WA, to be with their daughter and her family. They travelled until Ros became ill. They toured several European and Far East countries, and drove across the U.S. many times. Eva was a charter member of the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra League and belonged to the Somerset Unit of Music and Art Foundation and the Bellevue chapter of the Seattle Symphony League.


In her later years she helped at the Bellevue Senior Center and was a member of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Church in Issaquah. Until 3 years before her death, she was an avid member of the Sit and Knit group at Overlake Medical Center, knitting and crocheting caps and afghans for cancer patients. Every week she climbed aboard the Access bus to participate in this group, even after having 5 knee replacements.

Eva lived by herself in her own home until after her 98th birthday. She then moved to Aegis of Redmond Assisted Living to finally have someone else take care of her. Despite breaking a femur this February, she was soon out of pain and able to walk a little. Congestive heart failure finally took its toll, however. She went to sleep on August 1st, 2011, a day before her husband’s birthday and never awakened. She was in no pain and under no stress.


Eva was predeceased by her husband, Roswell, an infant son, her sister Mildred Barrera, and brother Stephen Kragovich. She is survived by daughter and son-in-law Barbara and Darrell Scattergood, Bellevue, WA; and Grandchildren  Wendy, Green Bay, WI; and David (Joyce), Woodinville, WA, by her Great Grandchildren Eva and Kyle Scattergood, Woodinville, WA, and by many nieces, nephews, and friends across the country.


We wish to thank her special friends Cindy Tsuji, Jeanette Smith, Rosina Opong, EJ and Mark Wellington and the staffs of Aegis of Redmond and Evergreen Hospice for their loving and compassionate care. Eva was known for her strength, thoughtfulness and love to others, her remarkably good disposition, and her sweet smile as so many have mentioned. She will be greatly missed.


There will be no formal service. Interment will be at Lakeside Memorial Park in Hamburg, NY.


Vjecnaja Pamjat (memory eternal) to the matriarch of our family


11 Responses to “Eva Marie Kragovich Strong”

  • Bonnie Bowden says:

    Barbara, Eva’s daughter and I have been friends since attending Tally Ho music camp in the 1950’s. I remember her parents coming to the Sunday concerts with such eagerness to hear us play….loving every minute of the concert.

    Later Eva and Ros were very kind to my family when my father was in Roswell Park Hospital in Buffalo with terminal cancer.

    I have always remembered the two of them, who are now enjoying each other once again. They were both kind and loving and loved to help people.

    Bon Voyage Eva

  • Sandy Espinoza Blaney says:

    Dear Cousin Barbara, Darrell and Family:

    Sincerest sympathy on the passing of Tetie Eve, my mother’s first cousin. Visiting her and Uncle Ros in East Aurora was always a great treat for us because it seemed so far from where we lived in Lackawanna.

    My husband, Robert and I had the privilege of visiting with her on several occasions when we were in the Seattle area. Just prior to her 95th birthday, we, along with Mike and Cathy Jankovich, took her out to a restaurant near the Pike Place Market area and got her a surprise birthday cake. It was a wonderful evening where she recanted many stories of growing up and moving West with Uncle Ros.

    She told us she had given up driving at age 90 to preserve her record of no accidents and no tickets!

    Memory eternal, Tetie. You were a wonderful lady.

    Cousin Sandy & Rob

  • charlie hall says:

    i will miss her smail and talking to her alot love,charlie hall

  • Ellyn (Kaplan) Bagley says:

    Dear Barb and Darrell,
    I am so very sorry to learn of the passing of your beloved mother. My memories of our friendship are numerous since you, Barbara, were my next door neighbor and high school classmate. I remember stopping at your home before school, and the smell of toast and coffee emanating from your kitchen. I remember the little breakfast room that was always so cozy and inviting. I remember the grand piano in the living room, and your cello. Many times your dad drove us to school when you had to take your cello. We had many fun times together in those years, and then we left for college. I also remember visiting you at the Roycroft Gift Shop, and even stayed overnight with you on at least one occasion. I was just out there the other day, and always remember that time in our lives. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Cherish the memories.
    In sympathy,
    Ellyn Bagley

  • Nancy & Al Fontanese says:

    Dear Barb and Darrell: We are so sorry to hear of Eve’s passing but happy that she went so peacefully after such a long and interesting life. We loved reading her life story and learning of her struggle in the early years. We remember her warmth and hospitality in her home attached to The Roycroft Gift Shop and also the several little gifts she would give us from there as we were raising our babies across the way from you at Honeywood Hill. So many fond memories of your mother, Barb. Our deepest sympathy to you both and to your children. Love, Nancy

  • We, the members of the Overlake Hospital Sit and Knit Group that Eva attended faithfully every Friday from 2001-2009 feel lucky to have known her.

    We loved the stories she told from the past—of Lackawanna, East Aurora, the Roycroft Gift Shop, the day Niagara Falls froze, etc.—because she never centered them on herself but rather on the wonderment or joy she found in them. She smiled every time she said “Lackawanna.” She cherished her past but remained alert to the present, to what was happening in our lives and in the wider world. Eva mentioned once that her beloved Ros told her, “Never wear black” and she never did, either in her clothes or her attitude.

    It takes courage, strength of character, and even a bit of acting ability to sustain such a positive outlook in one’s 90’s, but she did it. We admired and loved her for it.

    In appreciation for her life and its example,
    Sue, Bette, Gail, Debbie, and Jeanne

  • Barbara Scattergood says:

    Thank you to all who have sent your condolences and these wonderful memories of Mom/Grammy. We really appreciate hearing from you.
    Barb, Darrell, and Family

  • Nick Hall says:

    Tet will always be in my heart. The stories I heard Tet tell me and those told by other family members truly put Tet in the realm of pioneer. Tet was a woman always true to herself, family, friends, and country. She contributed to our world and made it a much better place.

  • David Scattergood says:

    A quote from one of the Roycroft plaques Grammy gave me reads: “One Great, Strong, Unselfish Soul in every Community would actually redeem the World.” Grammy was such a person in every group, town and family that she was a part of. She will be missed by all, but we are the better for knowing her. My children are very fortunate to have had a great grandmother so far into their teenage years, and I can’t think of a more appropriate name for our daughter, Eva.

  • Joan Edwards says:

    Darrell and Barb,
    What a lovely tribute this web site is! I was pleased to see the photos and to learn about Eva’s early years. I only knew her as a cheerful, thoughtful, and alert lady with busy hands (knitting and crocheting) and an extraordinary memory for a 90+ year old.
    Condolences to you and your family. I know the last few months have been difficult.


  • Deborah Marcel says:

    Dear Barbara and family, I was so sad to hear of the passing of your dear mother Eva. I knew her since 1998 and cherished my relationship with her. While visiting her weekly she told me so many stories of her past life which i found so very interesting. She had such a full life in every respect and was loved by so many people. my fondest memory of Eva was on her 96th birthday and i took her for a manicure and pedicure. She won the hearts of all the staff there and they gave her the very special treatment. Afterwards I took her to an Italian restaurant for lunch and she timidly had a glass of wine and was so tickled with her special day. I will always think of that day when I think of Eva. She was a gift in my life and I loved her. My condolences to you and your family. Eva will be greatly missed.

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