During World War 2, teenager Maria was taken first to Krakow, and then to Germany to work the farms. During the American liberation, she was taken to a refugee camp in Belgium and remained there for more than a year. Faced with the prospect of a Communist regime in Poland, she decided to emigrate to the US. When those plans were met with innumerable delays, she obtained a work permit and moved to Canada around 1948 when she was 21. She didn’t know anyone there at the time. She worked on a farm in Welland, a town near Niagara Falls, and looked after an elderly lady there while paying off the travel fare. In the 1950s she visited Tory Lasica Stagg and Katarzyna Delenta Lasica in New Jersey.
She began entreating some of her relatives in Poland to follow her lead, and, starting in 1964, several of them did. She met and married her husband, Michael Bordon, in Canada. A remarkable and energetic woman, she and Michael adopted Stella Lasica in 1964 following the death of Stella’s father, Jan. In 1969 she visited the Lasica family’s homesteads in Spie and Kwidzyn, Poland, and took some remarkable film footage. She also visited Katarzyna Delenta Lasica and other Lasica family members over the years, such as this trip in 1972 with her daughter, Stella. She died peacefully in Toronto in late 2004. Her niece, Chris Lasica, said, “We called her Ciocia.”