Look back

Nadia Niniowsky is coordinator of the Cayuga County Water Quality Management Agency.

Oct. 10, 1994

(Oct. 8, 1994, newspaper not available)

When Nadia Niniowsky was 2 years old, her Ukrainian parents decided to get out of the country. It was 1944, and the Soviets were coming.

"We went to  Germany, where my father worked for a farmer," Niniowsky recalled one day last week. But Nadia, her sister, brother and parents wound up in refugee camps. 

When World War II ended, the family moved to Belgium. After several unsuccessful tries, they were finally able to win permission to come to the United States.

It was 1951, and Nadia was 8 when they landed in Rochester.

"My sister and I would always translate for our parents," she said. "I remember it vividly."

Now 52, Niniowsky lives in the village of Fair Haven with her husband Ehor, or Ed. Their three children are grown, and after a long career with Xerox, she has started a new one in the environmental and political worlds. It's been a long road — one that's been rewarding but also disheartening at times.

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— Compiled by David Wilcox