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Her Life

Nina Abramsova Schelest

August 29, 2021
Nina Abramsova Schelest passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 26th 2021 in Toms River, New Jersey.
Nina was born on March 22, 1924 in Kakhovka, Ukraine. Nina was the oldest of eight children. Being the oldest she was responsible for taking care of most of her siblings. In 1943 Nina met the love of her life, Gregory Schelest, at a train station in the Ukraine. He was the train’s engineer and he said it was love at first sight when he saw Nina. They were married shortly after. During this time, World War II was happening. The Germans were occupying the Ukraine, Nina and Greg were captured as Prisoners of War. They were marched through the Ukraine, Romania and then on to Austria where they were placed into Concentration Camps as slave labor. Through Nina’s resilience and faith in God she was able to survive the Holocaust. Nina gave birth to her oldest son, Greggory Schelest II, while in Romania. Her second son, Vladimir was born in the concentration camp in Austria. He died shortly after birth.
After World War II ended, Nina and Gregory settled in Austria with dreams of going to America. They were blessed with a sponsorship from Church World Services to come to America as Displaced Citizens. They arrived at Ellis Island on June 14th 1950, Flag Day. They soon settled in New Jersey. Nina had her first child in America in 1953, a daughter she named Irene. A few years later Nina had a son named Paul.
Nina worked at Brockway Glass Company in Freehold, New Jersey. She volunteered at her local Russian Orthodox Church and with the Cossack Home. Nina and her husband Gregory helped countless immigrants from all over the world. Nina had a passion for cooking and feeding anybody that was hungry. Nina’s family especially LOVED her Piroshky. Besides being an excellent cook, she was a talented seamstress.
Nina LOVED her family with all her heart and all her soul. She was the Matriarch of the family. The family will miss her, “say it like it is,” attitude. Nina is preceded in death by her parents, her loving husband Gregory, her son Vladimir, her son Gregory II, her daughter-in-law Carol Schelest and her son-in-law Gene Novichihin and Grandson Zeus Karavas. Nina is survived by her daughter Irene Schelest-Novichihin, son Paul (Cathy) Schelest, Grandchildren: Elizabeth, Carol, Kathy, Greg, Tania and Larissa, Great-grandchildren: Dimitri, Michael, Joey, Brianna, Layne, Amelia, Naomi, Jake and Charlie, Great-great-grandchildren: Colton and Waylon.