HABIAN—Nicholas Habian was born Sept. 27, 1936, in the town of Daia, Romania, to parents Simion Habian and Ana (Catana).
Nick spent his first 13 years in Romania with his mother and older brothers, Sam and George, while his father was in the U.S. building a foundation for his family.
After the end of World War II and the subsequent Soviet occupation of Romania, the boys traveled by ship to meet their father in the U.S., arriving in 1949 to start their American story in Cleveland, Ohio.
Ana was reunited with the family a year later.
Nick studied engineering at Kent State University before joining the U.S. Army. He met Verna Potts in the summer of 1955 and they married three years later. With the addition of children Cindy, Nick Jr., Bob and Beth, the couple became a family, having moved to the West Coast in 1969 to reside first in Redwood City, Calif., then San Jose, Calif.
Nick applied his professional knowledge and skills as a partner in a prolific Bay Area commercial refrigeration company and, upon retiring, Nick and Verna relocated to the beautiful coastal town of Florence, Ore.
Throughout his journey, he inspired others with his incredible work ethic, morals and strength of character. While his early years were shaped and hardened by the challenges of his immigrant experience, he later learned to open up and share his inner self with those he loved.
Hiking in the coastal hills, mushroom hunting and spending time alongside Verna planting, pruning and harvesting their robust garden brought decades of enjoyment.
He developed a remarkable talent in the art of stained glass, and became an avid collector of things from the past.
In recent months, as it became increasingly clear that his time here was waning, his focus shifted to reconnecting with friends and loved ones, expressing his gratitude and sharing stories from the past.
Surrounded by family, he made clear that his was a life well-lived. Nick peacefully left this world in the early afternoon of Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, and returned home to prepare a place for his family.
Nick is survived by his loving wife, Verna; four children, seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and his brother, George.
His ashes will be inurned at the National Cemetery in Roseburg.