CBS Denver

Published: Dec 06, 2013 6:13 PM EST
Updated: Dec 06, 2013 6:14 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla. -Inside Sunny Lubner's home are memories of South Africa. She grew up in the racially divided region and saw the struggles first-hand, as she watched her parents fight to end apartheid.

"At the time, I really didn't like it because we were shunned. Our family was too afraid to have much to do with us, my friends parents wouldn't allow them to see us and I understand why - it was a policed state. But my parents kept slugging on," said Lubner.

In 1956, her father, joined by Nelson Mandela and 150 other men, were co-defendants in a trial for treason. They were found not guilty. Later, her mother would be jailed for five years.

"My dad didn't live to see the end of apartheid unfortunately, he'd been tortured. My mom lived to be her in 80's and so she saw the end of apartheid she saw Nelson as the President and it was wonderful for her."

This is her mom Esther at Mandela's 90th birthday party, one of a handful who attended. Lubner said when she became a mother, she and her husband decided to move to the United States.

"We weren't willing to raise our children under the apartheid regime it was just so obnoxious to us."

One day after Mandela's death, Lubner lit a candle in his honor.

"I think he was the last great man of the 20th century. To me he was an angel on earth and now he's gone home."

Her mother's photo is on display at the constitutional court in Johannesburg, which is the South African version of the Supreme Court.

Lubner hasn't been back to South Africa in about three years, but her family is planning a trip back there next year.