Nina Petrovna Jookova, 92, died in San Rafael, Calif. on March 20 of natural causes. She had been a resident of The Aspens in Burns for several months prior to returning to California.
Jookova was born in Siberia. After the Russian revolution, she and her family settled in Northern China, where she and thousands of other Russians fled to escape Communist rule.
She met her husband, who had been in the Czar’s army, in Shanghai, and they married in 1935.
By 1945, the Soviets had taken most of the Russian men in their area of China as war reparations and sent them to the gulags. Jookova never saw her husband again. She sold all of her possessions, and with her two children, mother, sister, and nephews had to flee China as stateless refugees. The International Red Cross interned them, along with thousands of others.
After a lengthy journey, the Jookovas ended up in Brazil, where they had to wait several years before they could individually emigrate to San Francisco. There, Jookova worked as a domestic until her retirement. Her strong spirit, sense of humor, giving heart and zest for life profoundly touched all those she met along her life journey.
Jookova is survived by her children, Boris Jukov and Elena Jookova-Clemmons; grandchildren, Irene Jukov Cooper and Leo Jukov; and great-grandchildren, David and Jonathan Ford.