Natalia Fischer, 95, a post-war refugee from Ukraine and the mother of Ridgefielder Vadim Fischer, died Jan. 12 in Sarasota, Fla.

Born May 1, 1919, in Kiev, Ukraine, she left war-torn Europe and came to America with her husband, Karl, in 1949. She taught Russian language and literature at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for 25 years before retiring to Sarasota. She was a voracious reader and collector of books.

During retirement, the Fischers pursued their passion for travel, which included driving tours through every state, and multiple trips from Florida to Alaska and to Newfoundland. They also visited their native Russia.

Karl Fischer died in 2000, after 55 years of marriage. The Fischers were among the founding parishioners of St. Vladimir Church in Dexter, Mich.

Natalia Fischer is mourned by her two sons and their wives, Alexander (Nancy) and Vadim (Ann), and her three grandchildren, Vadim, Anastasia and Hannah. “Her desire to share an immense breadth of knowledge, her engaging smile and positive outlook provided lift to all who had the privilege of her acquaintance,” the family wrote.

A graveside service will be held Friday, Jan. 16, at Royal Palm Cemetery South, 101 55th Street South, St. Petersburg, Fla. Memorial donations may be sent to St. Vladimir Church, 9900 Jackson Road, Dexter MI 48130.