Constance McClain, co-founder of the Chernobyl Children's Project and a Petaluma Christmas tree farmer, died Feb. 17. She was 92.
McClain was a veteran world traveler who volunteered on soup lines, met with runaway teens and built homes in cities like Leningrad and Tijuana and on continents like Africa and Asia.
A sudden closing of the Lithuanian border in 1990 led McClain and her husband, Clifford, on a serendipitous journey to Belarus, then the Soviet Byelorussia.
She had already raised five children and was busy with McClain's Holiday Farm when the unexpected side trip led the couple on a journey to witness the lasting catastrophic effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear plant disaster.
They returned home and together started a project to bring children who live in the contaminated region to spend summers in the United States.