Algean Litwin (Stockton)
(1923 - 2010)

Algean Litwin (Stockton)

Kentucky, United States of America
May 7, 1923

Washington, United States of America
September 19, 2010

Dancing, animals, roses, butterflies, hummingbirds, fashion, Swarovski crystal, "Dancing with the Stars," visiting Al, Cortney and Kaya
Welcome! Because so many of our family and friends live all over the U.S., I wanted to share my mother’s story, photos, and video with all of you through this online memorial.

Please take a moment to light a candle, share a story about her, and/or sign the guest book. Just click on the tabs above. And be sure to check back periodically to see if new entries have been added.

I’ve uploaded lots of photos, along with a 6-minute video comprised of movie clips of the two of us, which my dad shot during the ‘60s. Enjoy!

From my Heart -

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of my mother is "grace." She was filled with grace in every way -- in her elegance, in her kindness, and in the beauty of her spirit.

She was gentle yet strong, supportive and loving. She was conservative in some of her views but liberal in others, like her acceptance of people from all walks of life. She also embraced many New Age and Eastern beliefs, such as astrology, reincarnation, and karma.

One of the things I liked most about her was her dry, impish sense of humor, which surprised people who didn’t know her well. Mainly, for me, she was the best mom ever!


Home and Family -

Algean was born in Ninevah, Kentucky on May 7, 1923, to David and Jessie Stockton. She was the fourth of five children. Her mother died when she was about 18 months old (and her younger brother was 3 weeks old). The children were nearly sent to an orphanage until their father’s sister, Hallie, stepped in to help raise them.

When Algean was about 20, she moved to Detroit, where she worked in a defense plant during the war. But it was California that called to her heart, so she relocated to Los Angeles, where she met Mort Litwin. They were married in November 1947. Algean lived in the L.A. area until she moved with Carol (now Cortney) and her husband, Al, to Spokane, Washington in 2009.

Miracle Birth -

On May 14, 1958, she gave birth to Cortney, her only child. What you may not know is that this birth was something of a miracle. She had two tumors, including one the size of a grapefruit, in her womb alongside the baby. Her pregnancy and successful delivery were so unusual that the details about them were published in a medical journal. Obviously, Cortney was determined to be born!

The Menagerie -

She loved not only her family and friends, but animals of all kinds. The Litwin pets ranged from dogs and cats to mice, lizards, snakes, and assorted bugs her daughter collected as a kid. She almost let Cortney have a skunk at one point, but the state of California forbade it, alas.

Professional Woman -

As a talented designer for 40 years, she co-owned Winton Belt with her husband. Together, they created belts for numerous celebrities, including Elvis Presley, Barbara Stanwyck, The Jackson 5, The Osmonds, Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie), David Janssen (The Fugitive), Linda Evans (Dynasty), and Ronald and Nancy Reagan -- to name a few.

The Winton Belt couple also worked alongside many haute-couture designers, including James Galanos, creating belts for dresses that sold for thousands of dollars apiece. It was the perfect profession for Algean, who was quite the fashionesta herself (check out the video. She always dressed with style, even for a trip to the zoo!).

In Transition -

Mort passed away from lung and kidney cancer in March 1990. Algean ran Winton Belt for a couple of years and then retired. Then the fun began.

When she turned 70, this glamorous retiree discovered dancing. She quickly rose to the top of her class and often partnered with her teachers to demonstrate the steps. She was accomplished in the styles of ballroom and swing, among others. Algean never missed an episode of Dancing with the Stars, which was her favorite TV show. Not surprising, Dirty Dancing was her favorite film. Even in her 80s, people often marveled at her suppleness.

A New Beginning -

Algean had two faulty heart valves. She passed away in her sleep from heart failure on the evening of September 19, 2010.

She was an extraordinary woman who will be missed by everyone who loved her, especially me. My greatest wish is that she is dancing among the angels in heaven.

- Cortney Litwin

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

Hover your mouse over the wall images to see each guest book entry.

Guest Book (26 entries)
So many fun memories, Cortney... but one thing that I do remember especially, is your mom practically squealing about how much, as a young woman, she daydreamed about dancing with Cesar Romero, her matinee dancing idol, in beautiful gowns on shiny ballroom floors. So, it was NO surprise that she rushed to act out that unfinished dream and become so accomplished.

Hard to believe it's been a year... she brought our friendship back to life, and I am grateful to her for that.
Debra Bealmear (family friend)
October 5th, 2011
I'll always remember Aunt Algean as The Glamor Puss! As a child I drank up every story about her world of Hollywood and Fashion Modeling. She indulged the stars in my eyes and now she lives amongst them.
Jessye Heilman (Niece)
October 9th, 2010
Algean was introduced to me many years ago by Cortney. I was deligted by her warm welcome into her home for the first time. I looked forward to her hospitality and friendlyness each time I would visit. Many times I would come by the house and she was on her way out to go dancing dressed to the 9's. So ellegant! I enjoyed talking to her. I cellebrate her life. I will miss her.
Suzanne McNeil (friend)
September 30th, 2010
Algean Litwin, in my mind was and still is a spiritual lady teacher who gave of herself to others with love, light, kindness and truth. Aljean and Mother Therasa are similar in nature wanting to help a friend who asks for help. Algean is one of a kind in the eyes of her friends. Namaste to my friend Algean.
steve stackel (friend & admirer)
September 26th, 2010
Cortney, I am so sorry to hear of your mom's passing. I have so many great memories of you and your mom, and your dad of course. My favorite memory goes back a long way. When we were 14 or 15, your mom took you, your friend Beth and me to see Jesus Christ Superstar at the Universal Amphitheater. I remember trying to go to sleep and banging on the wall, then ending up on the floor of your room. Then, your mom came in and started stepping around and said, "We seem to have lost someone." She then stepped on me and we all laughed. She was very cool to allow me to stay in your room with you and Beth that night. The events of the evening will always remain a happy memory.

My love to you and Al. I hope to see you both again soon.

Glen Uslan (family)
September 25th, 2010
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"I loved Algean so much. She was bright, lovely, and always contemporary. Even though she was my aunt, we felt more like a sisters."
Susan DuVall
November 7th, 2013
"Thinking of you, Mom. Love you and miss you."
Cortney Litwin
November 5th, 2013
"Algean was a delight and a warm hostess whenever I went to visit Cortney. She was so welcoming. I loved her spritely energy. I celebrate her life. So glad I knew her."
Suzanne McNeil
September 30th, 2010
"I remember marveling at the lovely photos of Algean on your walls back in CA, and then at Algean herself, for she had barely changed! Still elegant, still lovely both inside and out. My heart goes out to the both of you. *hugs*"
Elayssa Thompson
September 24th, 2010
"Algean was indeed an angel living with her feet on this earth."
Eileen Bertie (friend)
September 22nd, 2010
"All of us here in Connecticut are so deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Algean. We always enjoyed our visits with her. Mick certainly thought so highly of her."
Love, from Mike & Pat Gaetano & Family
September 22nd, 2010
"Our Sister has returned to her true home. Her Love remains in the hearts and minds of those who knew her while she was amongst you. We Celebrate and Rejoice in Her return."
"JOHN" Zebedee
September 21st, 2010
"Algean was always a wonderful person. Even when I was a little kid, I could always see a sort of lasting beauty in her; both physical and emotional. Algean was always kind and loving to everyone in our family. She will be missed!"
Tyler Uslan
September 21st, 2010
"Delta Dawn What's that flower you have on Could it be a faded rose from days gone by And did I hear you say... Your heart is the mansion Algean, the epitome of kindness You take with you much love We love you guys, Jim & Suzi"
Jim & Suzi Ratcliff
September 21st, 2010
"Algean, you and Al have been in our thoughts whenever the family had a special occassion. Her prescents always added a special grace. She was a dear Aunt and a good friend. She will be missed. Steve and Bobbi Uslan"
Steve & Bobbi Uslan
September 20th, 2010


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