Rev. olexa Harbuziuk Legacy
Пастор олекса Романович Гарбузюк
For previous deaths, please see the page titled "Deaths before 2012."
Deaths before 2016
Victor Matveiuk goes to be with Jesus
Victor Matveiuk, a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, died of brain cancer on November 11, 2015, at the age of 55.
Brother Matveiuk was one of the first to arrive in Chicago at the very beginning of the new wave of immigrants from the Soviet Union in January 1988 along with his parents, his brother and an aunt. Both his father and grandfather were pastors, and both were imprisoned by Soviet authorities because of their religious activities.
Rev. Olexa Harbuziuk, who was pastor of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago at the time, took Victor's father, Rev. Stepan Matveiuk, to Washington, D.C., in May 1988 to meet with President Reagan and to urge Reagan to raise the issue of religious persecution in the Soviet Union in an upcoming summit meeting between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
Visitation was held Monday at Harvest Bible Chapel in Naperville, Illinois, followed by a service. A burial ceremony was held at Assumption Cemetery in Wheaton.
Condolences are sent to his wife, Oksana, and three sons and other relatives.
This earthly life ends for Pavel Sidorenko
Pavel Sidorenko, a former member of the Russian-Ukrainian Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida, died on October 28, 2015, at the age of 45.
Brother Sidorenko, who was born in Kyiv, Ukraine, worked as a truck driver and lived in Gulfport, Florida. Pavel and his wife, Alla, sang and played at churches across Florida and also in Ukraine and Israel.
The funeral is being held today (Saturday, October 31) at David C. Gross Funeral Home in St. Petersburg, Florida, with burial in Royal Palm Cemetery-South. Condolences are sent to his wife and their three children.
Jaroslaw Safian enters his heavenly home
Jaroslaw Safian, a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, passed away Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at the age of 79.
Visitation and a service were held Friday, October 23, at Knollcrest Funeral Home, 1500 S. Meyers Road, Lombard, Illinois. Burial was at Bronswood Cemetery in Oak Brook.
Condolences are sent to his wife, Olga, and his sons, Walter and William; and to his sister and other relatives.
Nicolas Sluk ends his earthly life in Rochester, NY
Nicolas Sluk, who organized Ukrainian Baptist services in Rochester, New York, died October 1, 2015, at age 98.
Rev. Ivan Dumych traveled from Niagara Falls, New York, for many years to conduct those services for the small congregation.
Peter S. Kotliar is at rest with his Lord
A funeral was held Thursday, August 13, for Peter S. Kotliar (Святослав Котляр), who was a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Trenton, New Jersey. Brother Kotliar, a longtime resident of Toms River, New Jersey, died August 6 at the age of 86. He was born in Ukraine, spent a few years in displaced persons camps in Germany, then came to the United States in 1950.
Brother Kotliar often attended annual conferences of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Convention. He was the lay leader of the Trenton congregation for a while in the 1970s before Rev. Chripczuk became the pastor in 1980.
Condolences are expressed to his wife and children and other relatives.
Natalie Kutschma passes into the presence of God
Natalie Kutschma (Наталія Кучма), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago for more than 40 years, passed away on July 10, 2015, in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she had been living for about a dozen years. She was 91 years old.
Born in Ukraine, she was a forced laborer in Germany during World War II. She married her husband, Victor, in 1946 in Germany. They moved to Belgium the next year, then they immigrated to the United States in 1953.
Sister Kutschma was a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago since being baptized upon her profession of faith on September 17, 1972. Her husband died in 1992.
Visitation and services were held July 16 and 17 at Muzyka & Son Funeral Home in Chicago. Interment was in Elmwood Cemetery.
Sympathy is expressed to her sons, Larry and Greg, and her grandchildren and other relatives.
Olga Bochnewych is in the hands of God
Olga Bochnewych (Ольга Бочневич), a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, is now in the presence of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Sister Bochnewych died on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at the age of 91. Born in Ukraine, she was a forced laborer in Germany during World War II. She immigrated to the United States in 1949.
Visitation was held on Tuesday at Steuerle Funeral Home, 350 S. Ardmore Avenue, Villa Park, IL 60181. A service was held Wednesday at the funeral home, followed by interment at Elm Lawn Cemetery. Condolences are sent to her son Michael; her daughter Lydia King, her son-in-law Dennis King and her granddaughter Emily.
John Puknaitis dies at age 82
John Puknaitis, whose wife, Lydia, is a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, died on July 4, 2015. He was 82 years old.
At the Ukrainian church, Mr. Puknaitis's wife sometimes was referred to as Lydia Myrosznyk because her sister was Mrs. Julia Myrosznyk. John and Lydia celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary a few years ago.
The funeral was held Wednesday, and he was buried at Lithuanian National Cemetery in Justice, Illinois. Our condolences go to his wife, children, grandchildren and other relatives.
Vasily Rotar finishes his earthly life
Vasily Rotar (Василь Ротар), a member of Grace Ukrainian Baptist Church in Warminster, Pennsylvania, was laid to rest this morning (June 11, 2015). He was 85 years old. The graveside service was officiated by Pastor Sergio Sauchuk at the Hatboro Cemetery. A visitation with a service was held the previous evening.
Brother Rotar was a member of Grace Church since 2002. He loved to attend church services and especially enjoyed listening to the choir sing. Previously, he had been a member of churches in Levittown, PA, and Charlotte, NC.Condolences are sent to his wife, family and relatives.
Mary Maevsky – faithful servant
[This life story about Mrs. Mary Maevsky was written by her daughter, Regina Bereza.]
God had special plans for Mary Dudko. She came into this world on a special holiday – Christmas by the old-style calendar (January 7, 1925) – and went to her eternal home on a holiday – Mother’s Day (May 10, 2015).
Born in Pareechi, Belarus, near Chernin, Mary did not have an easy life. It was a life filled with many transitions. She spent her early childhood in her war-torn village, where she witnessed many horrors, fear and poverty, while it was occupied by different enemy troops.
At the age of 15, she fled the communist regime in her homeland, with her parents, younger sister Polina and older brother Nicholas and his family. Traveling by wagon and on foot, they finally made it to refugee camps in Germany by the grace of God! They were herded from camp to camp, finally settling in Augsburg, where she lived for about six years. That’s where she again met Walerian Maevsky, who had lived not too far from her home village, and they were married on October 14, 1945.
In Augsburg, her faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was further strengthened, and she was baptized in May 1947 by Rev. Dmytro Marychuk, a Ukrainian Baptist. Rev. Marychuk and his family, and many other brothers and sisters in Christ, became good friends and would meet again later in the United States. Mary and Walerian started their family in the camp, with a daughter, Regina, and two sons, Wally and Bill, being born there.
In September 1950, with three children under the age of 4, she and Walerian made their transition to the Land of the Free -- the United States. With the help of American troops, her brothers and sisters in Christ, and others, she and Walerian were able to fly to Oklahoma, where they were sponsored by a Christian family on a farm.
After a few months, being unable to earn enough money to support themselves, they reached out to Rev. Olexa Harbuziuk, whom they met in Germany, and the First Ukrainian Baptist Church in Chicago, Illinois. So, they moved once again.
The church helped to get them settled and find jobs. Mary attended school to learn English while working in a factory, and then trained as a key punch operator, working for 25 years at GTE, now Verizon.
She always worked full time and was still able to serve others there, and in her church family, where she attended for 65 years, serving mainly in the Women’s Group and also in the choir and Sunday School. Along with Walerian, who was a deacon, she also traveled to many Baptist church conventions and Belarussian evangelical meetings. Together, they helped start the committee for translating the Gospel of John from Greek to Belarussian by Dr. J. Petrovsky, and then to encourage and help fund the publishing of Hymns of Christians (translated by Brother D. Jasko) in 1979, and the Holy Bible in Belarussian. With the help of Brother S. Skovorodko and others in Canada, eventually they were privileged to help fund the shipment of those to Belarus!
Mary's love for meeting new people and serving others led her to always be helping, whether it be other new immigrants just arriving, or in her neighborhood or at her job. Having made that journey, she always reached out with clothing, food, or anything else that was needed. She also corresponded with her relatives and friends in her beloved Belarus, sending many packages of help. When she was unable to attend church in the last few years, she was extremely grateful when her brothers and sisters in Christ from the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago faithfully visited and cared for her.
When she entered eternity, she left behind children Regina, Wally and Bill, and their families, including grandchildren Jonathan Bereza and Chris Maevsky and great-granddaughters Jenna, Camilla and Cassia. But most of all, she left her legacy of loving the Lord Jesus, serving Him well, and generously helping everyone she came in contact with. She was indeed a faithful servant!
(Editor's note: Visitation and a service were held Friday at Muzyka & Son Funeral Home, 5776 W. Lawrence Ave., Chicago. A funeral service was held Saturday, followed by burial at Elmwood Cemetery. Condolences are sent to the entire family and relatives, especially to her daughter, Regina Bereza, who helped take care of her mother these last several years.)
Mrs. Rosalia Kuzmyn dies at age 91
Mrs. Rosalia Kuzmyn (Розалія Кузьмин), a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, went to be with her Lord and Savior on March 27, 2015 at the age of 91.
Sister Kuzmyn joined the Chicago church after arriving in the United States from Venezuela in 1956. Her husband died in 1986. She also was preceded in death by a daughter and two sons. Condolences are sent to her children and other relatives.
Sergey Shkuropat enters heaven at age 30
Sergey Shkuropat, a member of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church in Crum Lynne, Pennsylvania, died suddenly last week at the age of 30, apparently of a heart attack. Brother Shkuropat and his wife, Oksana, were married in 2006. They have one child less than 3 years old. A memorial service was held Sunday afternoon, March 8, 2015, at the church.
Zina Lucyk, founding member in Toronto
Mrs. Zina Lucyk (Зіна Луцик), a longtime member of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church in Toronto, Canada, passed away to her Lord and Saviour on February 16, 2015. She was 93 years old.
Sister Lucyk and her husband were founding members of the church. She was very active in her church and in the Eastern Canada Ukrainian Baptist Association. Her husband died in 2003.
Mary Piatnochka is with her Lord and Savior
Mrs. Mary Piatnochka, a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church in North Port, Florida, since 1990, died on February 14, 2015, at the age of 83.
The funeral was held February 20.
Sister Piatnochka was born in Ukraine. She was married to her husband, Timothy, for 61 years. They had five children and nine grandchildren. Her husband died in March 2014.
Maria Knyha is now in the arms of Jesus
Maria Knyha (Марія Книга) died January 30, 2015 at a nursing home in Warren, Michigan, at age 92.
Her husband, Stanislaw, died in 1987. They had been longtime members of the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan.
Sister Knyha was buried at Evergreen Cemetery on February 3.
Gregory Simchuk (Григорій Симчук), a longtime member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Minneapolis, died on January 29, 2015. He was 77.
He and his wife, Bernice, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 27, 2014.
Condolences are sent to his wife, daughters Susan and Nancy and other relatives.
Michael Czerwinskyj is promoted to heaven
Michael Czerwinskyj (Михайло Червинський), a longtime member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Toronto, Canada, is now with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brother Czerwinskyj was promoted to heaven this morning (Wednesday, January 14, 2015) at the age of 89.
Many people throughout Canada and the United States remember him from attending conferences at the Ukrainian Bible Camp (Оселя - Ocela) near Peterborough, Ontario. Sympathy is expressed to his wife, Martha; his daughter, Stef Kohut, and his son-in-law Walter Kohut; his son, Eugene; and his granddaughter, Amy Kohut.
Nicholas Zabolotny (Микола Заболотний) died in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, on May 23, 2013, at age 91. He used to travel frequently to the church at the Ukrainian Bible Centre near Peterborough, Ontario (approximately 305 kilometers or 190 miles), to serve as the lay preacher. He was preceded in death by his wife, Oksana Zabolotny, in 2011.
Mrs. Wanko enters the presence of the Lord
Mrs. Catharina Wanko (Катерина Ванко), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, died April 14, 2013, at age 93. She was a member of the church since immigrating to Chicago from Brazil in 1962. Many years ago, Sister Wanko was active in the Ladies Circle at church. She lived with her daughter, Mary Tereszczenko, for about the past 10 years. Mrs. Wanko was born in Ukraine on July 22, 1919. She was baptized in Ukraine and was married in 1942 before she and her husband were forcibly sent to Germany during World War II. Their daughter was born in Germany, then the family immigrated to Brazil in 1949. Mrs. Wanko was preceded in death by her husband, Alexander, in 1998, and by her son-in-law, Michael Tereszczenko, in 2005.
Michael Puczek enters his heavenly home
Michael Puczek (Михайло Пучек), a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, died March 15, 2013, at age 79. He underwent open heart surgery in January.
Brother Michael was born in Ukraine on November 20, 1933. When he was a child, his parents moved to Paraguay. When he was 18, they moved to Argentina.
Mr. and Mrs. Puczek were members of the Chicago church for a number of years after emigrating from Argentina. Our sympathy goes to his wife, Maria; four children; seven grandchildren; and brothers and sisters.
Brother Andrusenko now at rest with the Lord
Fedor Andrusenko (Федір Андрусенко) died March 11, 2013, at age 83. Brother Andrusenko was a faithful member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago for about 22 years after emigrating from Ukraine. He even attended the Sunday morning worship service the day before he died. He was born in the Poltava oblast (province) of Ukraine in 1929. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara (Варвара), in 2009. They had four children: Pavlo Andrusenko, Luba Andrusenko, Lilya Polowczak and Peter Andrusenko.
Mrs. Irma Pekarska passes on to heaven
Mrs. Irma Pekarska, a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, died Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at age 83. She was the mother of Mr. Mike Pekarskiy (Михайло Пекарський) and Mrs. Larisa Makovetskiy (Лариса Маковецька), both of whom also are members of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago. Sister Larisa is the wife of the assistant pastor of the church, Alexander Makovetskiy.
Mrs. Olga Mesyk is in heaven now
Mrs. Olga Mesyk (Ольга Месик) died February 26, 2013, at age 90. She was a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago.
The funeral service was held March 2, 2013 at the First Baptist Church of Waupaca, Wisconsin. Mrs. Mesyk's husband died in 1990. They had four children: Lydia Gaponiuk (husband Peter), Ann Filips (husband Tom), Sally Mesyk and John Mesyk (wife Roxanne).
The Rev. Dr. Alexander Nicholas Piatocha (Олександер П'ятоха) died December 18, 2012 at age 84. He had been the pastor of the Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for 34 years. He was a favorite evangelist of the young people at the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago and kept on getting invited to conduct weeklong revival meetings. He did so four times from 1970 to 1980. He was active in leadership positions in various Ukrainian Baptist associations. Rev. Piatocha was founder of the Evangelical Mission to Ukraine in 1977 and served as director until 2009. He was born in Zimno, Ukraine.
Stepan Vasylykha (Степан Василиха), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, died October 29, 2012, at age 59. He was the husband of Lyudmila and the father of Nadia Safian and Galina Kovtunovich.
Pastor Anton Kovalchuk dies at age 87
Anton Ivanovich Kovalchuk (Антон Іванович Ковальчук), who had been pastor of the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Hemet for most of his years in California, passed on to his Lord and Savior on August 14, 2012.
He was born in Ukraine on April 25, 1925 in the village of Berehy (Береги), the same birthplace as Rev. Olexa Harbuziuk. He had been a pastor in Ukraine.
Brother Kovalchuk came to America in the spring of 1998 and soon became pastor of the church in Hemet.
Anastasia Junko (Анастасія Юнко), a member of the First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church of Santa Barbara, California, died August 10, 2012 at the age of 89. She was a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago.