Oct. 3, 1937 – Sept. 22, 2013

Ilga R. Rubino, who fled Latvia during the Soviet occupation in the 1940s, died Sept. 22 in her Amherst home. She was 75.

Born Ilga Kalnins in Ainazi, Latvia, she escaped with her family in 1944 and settled in Germany.

In 1950, her family sailed to New Orleans, where her father, Hermanis, worked as a machinist, and her mother, Austria, worked as a cook and picked cotton.

Seeking a climate more like Latvia, the family traveled by steamboat up the Mississippi River, ultimately arriving in Buffalo in 1952 and settling on the West Side, according to a family history provided by Mrs. Rubino’s children.

She finished a four-year business program at Bishop McMahon High School on Delaware Avenue and worked as a bank teller and at William Hengerer Co.

In 1956, she married Joseph Rubino, who worked at his family’s funeral home.

The couple moved to Amherst in 1967. She was a member of Transit Valley Country Club and was an avid golfer and gardener.

Her sons John and Joseph own Rubino Brothers, a home building and real estate firm, and she enjoyed staging the homes and greeting potential buyers at open houses, an activity she kept up until the day she died, John Rubino said.

Her husband died in 1992.

In addition to John and Joseph, she is survived by two other sons, Carmen and Ronald, and a daughter, Sandra.

A memorial Mass was offered Sept. 28 in SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Williamsville.