Nina Tihonovna Tsystan was born to parents Zina and Tihon in Kyrgyzstan on January 1st, 1934. She lost her mother early in her life and due to her father’s service in World War II, her and her younger brother Nikolai grew up in an orphanage during their childhood. Later in her life, she was able to reconnect with her father who gave her great support during her adult life. She is survived by her two daughters Elena Poppelreuter and Galina Franklin, grandsons: Dennis (Yulia) Koliada, Yuri Koliada, and Eugene (Karen) Lukienko, great-grandsons: German, Dmitri, Daniel, and Nicholas.
Nina was a hard worker and a good student. She put herself through medical school with the help of her mentors from the orphanage. Nina worked as a pediatrician and epidemiologist for 44 years in her home country of Kyrgyzstan. She always loved children and wanted the very best for them. Nina was very compassionate and would never turn away a neighbor that was in need of her help. She saved many lives in her village, even those who were on the brink of death. When not working in the hospital, she kept a small farm where she grew many fruits and vegetables as well as kept livestock. She was able to can and preserve the crops and meat to sustain her family during the non-growing season. In 2011, Nina joined her daughters in the United States to spend more time with her family. She became a proud United States Citizen in 2017. She kept busy in the United States, cross stitching and doing various sewing projects for the family, as well as participating in her civic duty of voting in local and national elections. Her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and teaching them that hard work was of great value throughout their lives.