Friends say Nina Gazda was one of the most kind, loving and considerate people you could ever meet.
“She took me under her wing,” said Deb Killion, who had known Gazda for nearly 40 years. “I admired her and looked up to her. She had a huge heart, and would give, maybe more than she should have.”
Agnes “Nina” Gazda, 80, of Las Vegas and a longtime Northwest Indiana resident, died Aug. 18. She and her daughter, Christine Eich, founded Nina’s Fresh Pierogi’s in Merrillville.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Edward Gazda, and her two daughters, Christine Eich and Alicia Gazda.
Gazda grew up in Poland during World War II, and spent some of her time there in an orphanage. However, she never let those experiences dampen her kindness or her spirit.
“She had so much wisdom, so much to give, it was incredible,” she said.
Gazda had an amazing pierogi recipe, and she used that as the basis for Nina’s Pierogi’s, which she opened with her daughter and a business partner.
“She would go into work from sun up to sundown, she really got into it and it really kept her going,” Killion said. “She didn’t have her recipe written down, and the way she pinched her pierogi they never fell apart. She was an ace.”
Killion said she loved Gazda’s sense of humor, and loved her outlook on life.
“She cared about people, and had this awesome power of forgiveness,” she said. “Even if she was wronged, she would forgive them and move on.”