A WOMAN dressed in black from top to bottom appeared between a crack in the front door of a Bustleton townhouse, and when she heard her husband's name spoken she placed her hand over her mouth, shuffled backward and sat down on a foyer step, repeating it over and over.
"Oh, Grigory. Grigory," Valentina Klokishner said yesterday, tears running down beneath dark sunglasses. "Such a sweet, beautiful man. Everyone loved him, but I loved him the most."
On Black Friday, Grigory Klokishner, 74, and Alex Osadchy, 66, also of Philadelphia, were among seven men tossed into frigid waters near the Manasquan Inlet separating Monmouth and Ocean counties when a large swell capsized their pontoon boat.
Osadchy was pronounced dead after his body was pulled ashore. Klokishner was flown to Jersey Shore Hospital in Neptune, where he was pronounced dead. As of last night, authorities had not released the identities or hometowns of the five other men on the boat, four of whom were treated for injuries.
Not all of the men wore life jackets. Authorities said the turbulent water was about 53 degrees.
Inside Klokishner's meticulous rowhouse on Clark Street near Bowler, Valentina Klokishner descended into her basement and slowly unwrapped a shroud, uncovering a photograph of her husband. She spoke about a love that began in the former Soviet Union in what is now Moldova, a marriage of 53 years that produced two children and grandchildren.
Grigory Klokishner, she said, was retired from a series of jobs at which he excelled: welding, building, mechanics.
"He had the golden hands," she said. "He was a golden man."
Klokishner said that her husband and the other men were on a fishing trip and that she didn't know all of them.
At a home about 7 miles away in Trevose, Bucks County, a man who said he was Osadchy's son-in-law said the family was still in shock and was just beginning to grieve. Osadchy, the man said, also was a retired grandfather.
"He was a healthy man, a good guy. He would have been 67 next week," the man, who declined to give his name, said at the door of the home.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, watchstanders at the Manasquan Inlet station took a call about 1:30 p.m. reporting an overturned vessel. The Coast Guard dispatched a 47-foot vessel, and a helicopter crew was sent up from Atlantic City. Good Samaritans also helped out, including a charter fishing boat and surfers.
Jim Freda, a commercial fisherman, told NJ.com that one wave had tilted the pontoon boat to its side and another had knocked it over.
"That boat went over like it was in slow motion," Freda said. "Everybody was in the water."
Although temperatures were warm Friday, Freda said that a combination of a full moon, outgoing tide and large swells made conditions treacherous.
In Bustleton yesterday, Valentina Klokishner said her family had gone out to plan for her husband's funeral. She sat on the couch by his photo in her basement, sobbing and not saying much else but his name. Finally, she asked to be left alone.
On Twitter: @JasonNark