LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — “Honk, Shout and Wave” — that is the theme of a Las Vegas senior’s birthday party. Nadia Young is turning 100 years old today!
During the celebration, Ms. Young was entertained by the crooning and shaking of hips from an Elvis impersonator, while her loved ones cheered on the side lines.
Young was born in Russia in 1921, during the time of the Russian revolution. Her family had been quite wealthy, with large landholdings, but had all their land and houses stripped away from them when the Bolsheviks came to power. Young, whose name means Hope in Russian, was the youngest of three daughters. Her mother died of tuberculosis when she was four, and she was raised by a peasant woman from a nearby village that Nadia’s father hired to be their cook.
Nadia went to college in Kyiv. When the Nazis invaded Russia in 1941, they rounded up all the available young people to take back to Germany to work in labor camps. Nadia was taken to Aachen, Germany, to work in a labor camp. It was there that she met her future husband, Wladek, a Polish cavalry officer who had been shot and captured by the Nazis.
Wladek was able to escape from the labor camp and make his way to England, where he joined the Polish Division of the British army.
Young remained in the labor camp until it was liberated by the Americans. She and a Polish friend worked for a short while as translators for an American Lieutenant Colonel named Hugh M. Jones, who was in charge of the liberating American forces. Eventually, she and her friend made their way to Paris, where they joined the Polish Red Cross and took a crash course in nursing so they could help nurse wounded soldiers. Through the Red Cross, Nadia was able to get in touch with Wladek and was able to get herself sent to Scotland where he was stationed. She worked at a hospital near Edinburgh until the end of the war. She and Wladek were married in 1945, and their daughter Halina was born in 1946.
After the war, they lived in Cardiff, Wales, for nine years, where Wladek worked on fishing trawlers. Eventually, they decided to emigrate to Canada to start a better life. Nadia communicated this to Hugh Jones, with whom she had stayed in touch after the war. By then, he was a state senator in Wisconsin, and he suggested that Nadia and her family migrate to the U.S. They did so in November of 1954, traveling aboard the original Queen Mary liner.
They moved to Las Vegas in 1996. One week after arriving here, Wladek passed away.
A couple of years later, at the age of 75, Nadia married Robert Young, whom she met playing bridge. They had a wonderful time traveling around the world until Bob passed away in 2007.
Nadia now lives with her daughter, Halina, who is also a widow.