Pauline Goldstein Yakovleff Solecki (Lina) was born in Harbin in 1919, the only child of a wealthy "White Russian" family, who then moved to Shanghai, and had a large vacation house in Tsingdao. Her father was a contractor on the East China railway. For secondary school she was sent to an elite Christian girls' school in Japan, with the daughters of consulate and embassy staff, where she learned English. She married an Englishman when she was young, and they traveled extensively in Europe and North Africa during the 1930s, but split up while they were in China, interned by the Japanese during WWII. She married her second husband, Nicolai Yakovleff, shortly after WWII. They immigrated to Canada in c. 1953. Nicolai died in 1971, while they were living in North Vancouver. In 1980 she married her third husband, Professor Jan J. Solecki and resided in Vancouver, near UBC.