Nina (Vorobey) Arrabit died peacefully on May 19, 2012 surrounded by her loving family at her home in Santa Rosa after a short battle with breast cancer. Born in 1934, Nina was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend. Nina was 16 years old when she met her soulmate, Don Arrabit. Married for 58 years, Nina and Don raised their three children in Santa Rosa and owned Brookside Terrace Market on Sonoma Ave for 29 years until 1983. A big supporter of Santa Rosa High School and Santa Rosa Junior College, Nina loved the fact that she and Don, as well as their children, graduated from both schools. Nina was also enormously proud of her Russian heritage. Her parents, Eugenia and Vladimir (Walter) Vorobey, were refugees from the Russian Revolution. Nina's first language was Russian and as an adult was often called upon for her translational skills. Nina's involvement in non-profits and volunteer organizations for 50 years in Sonoma County is near legendary. Over the years, she was a member of the city's Civic Art Commission, Harvest Fair board, Soroptimist Club of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County Museum Foundation, and most recently a board member of the Laguna Foundation, Santa Rosa Junior College Foundation and SRJC Bear Cub Trust. With her winning personality and ready smile, Nina could light up a room and add fun to any occasion. She was a gracious hostess, a bridge master and a loyal dear friend to many. As a member of the World Affairs Council with her husband Don, Nina loved keeping abreast of issues around the world, and you could always count on her contributions to a lively discussion of national politics and current events. Nina was an avid world traveler and was a guide to hundreds of Santa Rosans to unique foreign destinations. In the early 1970s, she and her husband visited Russia for the first time. In ensuing years she led at least 25 tours of Russia, and was planning to lead another in July when she became ill. Together, Nina and Don traveled to all 7 continents and made 63 major foreign trips. Of all Nina's accomplishments and activities, what gave her the most pleasure and pride was her family. In addition to her husband, Don, she is survived by her son, Mark Arrabit of Piedmont and his wife, Sherrie; her daughters, Tamara Spivey of Arcata and her husband, Roy; and Svetlana Carlson and her husband, Jeff of San Carlos; and seven grandchildren, Leanna and Damon Libolt; Olivia and Domenic Arrabit; and Reni, Julia and Alexander Carlson. Her family cherishes all of the special times together at holidays, at Mill Creek and at their annual summer vacations. Whether it was time spent together laughing, talking, watching the grandkids perform the annual JADO show or sitting around the table making pelimini (Russian Ravioli) for the annual family feast, each moment was enjoyed to the fullest. Don cherishes the memories of their long and happy marriage. Nina and Don especially enjoyed their simple nights at home together and their short getaways to local destinations. Nina is missed immensely by her family and friends but her legacy and spirit will live on in each of their hearts. Family and friends are invited to an outdoor informal memorial to celebrate Nina's life on June 23 at 6:30pm at the St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church, 90 Mountain View Ave., Santa Rosa.
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Published in the Press Democrat from June 10 to June 18, 2012