Lada Hulka was born to Milada Toskov and Jaroslar Hulka on November 8, 1926, in Astoria, Long Island, N.Y. She attended Public School 6, then Hunter College High School (she commuted to Manhattan).
Lada went to Swarthmore College and graduated with a B.A. in chemistry and economics in 1949. While a student at Swarthmore, she was a United States delegation representative to Prague, Czechoslovakia. As a news correspondent, Lada wrote a dispatch to the Evening News, a New York University paper, and articles about Prague and political issues in the 1960s.
She married Raymond David Young from Montclair, N. J., in July 1949. They lived in Austin, Texas, until David finished his Ph.D. in psychology and then moved to Bucks County, Pa., to rear their three children, David, Laura Young (Gibson) and Joan Young (Cross). Lada and David divorced in 1976.
Lada worked at Princeton University as an information systems analyst, and also at Sunoco Corporation in Philadelphia, Pa., for many years before retiring.
Her son, David R. Young attended Swarthmore College (Phi Beta Kappa) and graduated with a degree in sociology. He went on to Columbia University to finish his Ph.D. in sociology. He accidentally died from a fall in October of 1977. Lada moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area in 1990, after retiring to be closer to her family, and watch her granddaughter, Lindsay Gibson, grow up. She was devoted to her family members and gave of herself freely, assisting with childcare and family projects alike.
Laura likes to joke that if it were not for her mother, she would have not finished the writing of her dissertation findings (giving her mom an honorary Ph.D. in nursing). After living in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for almost 20 years, Lada moved on to San Jose, Calif. (again, to be close to family), where she has been since 2011. She was close to her other daughter, Joan, family members, and grandchildren, Kevin and Cara Cross.
Lada had been in the hospital shortly prior to her death. She had visited with her two daughters at Brookstone the day prior to her death, and was looking forward to a Thanksgiving gathering at her granddaughters’ place. She passed peacefully in her sleep on November 17, 2018.
She was a brilliant woman who was a superhero to her family and friends. Elegant and proper in everything she did — from the way she spoke to how she dressed — she led those in her life not only by the spoken word, but by example as well. Lada had a brilliantly quick wit, loved to have philosophical conversations, and was the beloved matriarch of our entire family for three generations.
You could bring any problem, worry, or issue to her, and she would comfort and offer truly good advice and possible solutions. Lada was so incredibly intelligent — not just mentally — but emotionally as well. She always had such a generously open heart, and Lada put love above all else. She is survived by her loving family: her daughter and son-in-law, Joan and Glenn Cross of Los Gatos, Calif., and her daughter, Laura Young Gibson of Menifee; and three grandchildren, Lindsay Gibson, Kevin Cross and Cara Cross.