Obituaries 2024 /

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     Lydia Puknaitis, a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, graduated to heaven on January 27, 2024.

     Sister Puknaitis, who was known to many as Lydia Myrosznyk, was 96 years old.
    Sister Lydia sang in the church choir in the early 1950s and was part of the youth group. She left the church after she married a non-Ukrainian in 1963. After her husband of 52 years, John, died in 2015, she frequently attended the Ukrainian church.

      Born in Ukraine to German immigrants who became farmers, Lydia survived many hardships, including having her father, a minister, sent by the Communist authorities to a Siberian labor camp for refusing to renounce Christianity. Later, her mother and other siblings also were sent to Siberia.

     Lydia was able to emigrate from Germany to America after World War II with her sister Julia Myrosznyk, who was married.
     Condolences are expressed to her three children, Mark (wife Cheryl), Peter (wife Sherrie) and Julie Wright; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
     Visitation will be held Thursday, February 1, from 2 to 8 p.m. at Beidelman-Kunsch Funeral Homes & Crematory, 24021 Royal Worlington Dr., Naperville. Visitation also will be held Friday, February 2, from 9 a.m. until the start of the service at 10 a.m. Interment will be in Lithuanian National Cemetery in Justice.

     Ruth L. Gordon, a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Maine, died on Thursday, May 9, 2024, while under hospice care in Florida.

     She was believed to be around 59 years old.

     Condolences are expressed to her brother, David, and other relatives.

      Both of her parents, Rev. Michael and Ella Jakubovich-Gordon, died in 2020.

     Ruth was baptized by her father at the Third World Congress of Ukrainian Baptist Youth, which was held August 20-25, 1979, at the Evangelical Baptist Camp in Ashford, Connecticut,

      Her body was cremated.

Those listed were members or former members of Ukrainian Baptist churches in the United States and Canada, or others who had a connection to those churches. If you have information that you would like to share, please send an email to

Heaven's gates open for Lydia Puknaitis

Aleksey Golubok enters gloryland at age 92

     Volodimir Stelmach (Володимир Тригонович Стельмах), a former member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, died on May 30, 2024. He was 74 years old.

     Brother Stelmach was born in Ukraine. In 1988, he emigrated from Estonia with his family and settled in Chicago. The next year he joined the Ukrainian Baptist Church. After about five years, he transferred his membership to the local Pentecostal church.

     His wife, Luba, whom he married in 1975, died in August 2021. Afterward, he moved to Florida to be closer to his children.

     Condolences are expressed to his three children, Valentin, Svetlana and Eugene; six grandchildren; two sisters; a brother, and other relatives.

     Visitation will be held Friday, June 7, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Curlew Hills Memory Gardens, 1750 Curlew Road, Palm Harbor, Florida. A funeral will be held Saturday, June 8, beginning at 9 a.m. at Curlew Hills.

Sophia Harbuziuk, 95, wife of famed preacher

Serhij Malenkij, ex-pastor, passes into eternity

     Leonid Mykyta Korownyk (Леонід Микитович Коровник), who was heavily involved in the Ukrainian Baptist community in Canada, entered heaven’s gates on March 1, 2024, at the age of 93.
     Born in Ukraine in 1930, Leonid made his way to Edmonton, Canada, in 1948.
     He attended the Ukrainian Bible Institute in Saskatoon, and later moved to Toronto, where he attended the Toronto Bible College.
     His first assignment as pastor was at the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Swan River, Manitoba. A pastoral assignment in Saskatoon followed; then he served as assistant pastor of the Ukrainian Baptist Church in Edmonton.
     Among other posts he held over the years were secretary of the Western Canada Ukrainian Baptist Association, president of Doroha Prawdy publishers and assistant director of Good Samaritan Mission.
     Brother Korownyk published two volumes of his poetry. He also translated eight religion books into the Ukrainian language.
He worked for many years at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology until his retirement in 1994.
     Condolences are expressed to his wife of 66 years, Anne; three children: Joyce Thiessen, Ruth Gereluk, and Nathan (Tina) Korownyk; eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, a sister, Luba Bodrouk; and other relatives.
     A celebration of life was held at Sturgeon Valley Baptist Church in St. Albert, Alberta, on March 9.


Sophie is playing Frisbee at a family gathering.

Ruth L. Gordon is welcomed into heaven


Rev. olexa  Harbuziuk Legacy

Пастор олекса Романович Гарбузюк

Heaven is the new home for Vera Golikov, 93

More obituaries may be found on the "Deaths in 2023" page; "Deaths in 2022" page; the "Deaths in 2021" page, the "Deaths in 2020" page, the "Deaths in 2019" page, the "Deaths in 2018" page, the "Deaths in 2017" page, the "Deaths in 2016" page, the "Deaths 2012-2015" page and the "Deaths Before 2012" page.

Leonid Korownyk, pastor, author, translator

     Dr. Anatoliy Kuzmenko (Анатолій Варфоломійович Кузьменко), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, completed his earthly journey on Thursday, May 9, 2024. He was 86 years old.

     Brother Kuzmenko, who was born in Ukraine, came to Chicago in 1991.

     Dr. Kuzmenko graduated from Odessa Medical Institute in Ukraine, then interned as a doctor in Belarus for three years.
     The family will be receiving guests on Monday, May 13, 2024 from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. at Dieterle Memorial Home, 1120 South Broadway, Montgomery, IL 60538. Interment will follow immediately at Spring Lake Cemetery, 745 South Lincoln Avenue, Aurora, IL 60505.

     Condolences are expressed to Nina, his wife of 61 years; four children: Rev. Viktor (Erina), Tanya (Ron) Arvio, Eugene (Kristina) and Anna (Dan) Jaros; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a sister and other relatives.

Volodimir Stelmach is called to heaven

     Vera Golikov (Віра Іванівна Голікова), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, ended her earthly journey on Sunday, June 2, 2024.

     Sister Golikov was a member since 1997. She was 93 years old.

     Visitation will be held Wednesday, June 5, from  10 a.m. until the start of the service at 11 a.m. at Dieterle Memorial Home in Montgomery, Illinois. Interment will follow at Spring Lake Cemetery in Aurora.

     Condolences are expressed to her daughter, Erina (Rev. Viktor) Kuzmenko, and two other children, as well as to five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, a sister, a brother and other relatives.

    Her husband died on January 1, 2021.

     Sophia "Sophie" Harbuziuk (Софія Федорівна Гарбузюк), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago since 1949, entered the presence of Jesus on Tuesday, April 2, 2024, at the age of 95.

     She was the widow of well-known Ukrainian Baptist pastor, preacher, radio broadcaster, church association leader and magazine editor Rev. Olexa R. Harbuziuk, who died in 1997.
      Mrs. Harbuziuk took her last breath on Earth in the evening while being treated in a hospital in a suburb of Chicago.

      Mrs. Harbuziuk had resided in Elmhurst for about 57 years, then had been living for nine years at the Holmstad, a retirement community in Batavia, Illinois.    

      Sophia was born December 25, 1928, in the village of Rudka, Poland. The village used to be part of Ukraine.

      When Sophia was 14 years old, she professed her faith in Jesus Christ and was baptized by immersion at the local Baptist church.  

     As a young teenager during World War II, Sophia left home for Germany as a refugee. She was forced to work in a labor camp, where she felt God’s protection. The camp was freed eventually by the U.S. Army. That is where she met the love of her life and married Olexa in 1946. They had two children in Germany.    

     Then in 1949, a ship brought the family to Ellis Island in America and a train brought them to Chicago, where Olexa became pastor of the Ukrainian Baptist Church.

     Five more children were born in America. Sophie spent her married life being a devoted and loving wife and mother raising her seven children.

     Sister Harbuziuk sang in the church choir for many years and was an active member of the women's circle, sometimes serving as an officer.

     A highlight in her life came in 1990, when she and her husband visited Ukraine. Sophia was able to see her siblings for the first time since about 1944.

          Condolences are expressed to her children: Helen (Phil) Bus, Alex (Luba   ), Irene DeWolf, Leela (Ray) Lohr, Vera (Ken) Gustafson, Wayne (Hannah), and Elizabeth (Ed) Bius; 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, and other relatives.

      Interment was private at Elmwood Cemetery in River Grove, in a plot next to her husband, on Tuesday, April 9.  

     Visitation with the family was held on Saturday, April 20, at 10 a.m. at Knollcrest Funeral Home, 1500 S. Meyers Road, Lombard 60148.  

      A memorial service began at 11 a.m.,  followed by a luncheon at Alpine Banquet Haus in Westchester.

     In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Covenant Living at the Holmstad, Benevolent Fund, 700 W. Fabyan Parkway, Batavia, IL. 60510 or Ukrainian Baptist Church, 6751 Riverside Drive, Berwyn, IL  60402.

Dr. Anatoliy Kuzmenko enters heavenly abode

     George Pasiecznik, who was a longtime member of the First Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Church of Minneapolis, died January 9, 2024, from dementia.

     Brother Pasiecznik (Пасічник), who was placed in a memory care facility about a year ago, was 83 years old.
     He was born on a farm in Paraguay and immigrated to Minnesota as a young man.
He met the love of his life, Lucy, at a church picnic.

     A skilled tailor by trade, he worked in various clothing stores before opening his own tailor shop, Three Tailors. One of his passions was playing soccer. He refereed soccer games and coached his sons' teams. He was a board member and referee scheduler with the Minnesota Amateur Soccer League for a time.

      Condolences are expressed to his wife and three children, Bob, Kristin, and Bill. A funeral service is pending.

Ruth Gordon (second woman from left) was a member of the auditing commission when the All-Ukrainian Evangelical Baptist Youth Fellowship met in Philadelphia on November 24, 1984.  (Photo copied from "Horizons" - official bulletin of the AUEBYF).

     Serhij Malenkij (Сергій Василєвич Маленький), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago,  died on February 8, 2024, in a hospital after suffering from stomach cancer for several years.

      Brother Malenkij, who was age 67, also had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and thyroid cancer.

     Brother Malenkij preached occasionally in church. He was a pastor in Ukraine. He came to Chicago in 2017.

       Condolences are expressed to his wife of 46 years, Vira; their children and grandchildren and others.

        An evening of remembrance will be held Sunday, February 11, at 6 p.m. at the church in Berwyn.

        The funeral will be held Monday, February 12, at 9 a.m. at Damar-Kaminski Funeral Home in Justice, followed by burial at noon at West Lawn Cemetery in Cullom.

     Aleksey Golubok (Алексій Аркадійович Голубок), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, passed away to his Savior on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at the age of 92.

     Brother Golubok came to Chicago from Ukraine about 25 years ago. In Ukraine, he had been a conductor, deacon and preacher.

     He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years in 2017.

     Condolences are expressed to his three children, eight grandchildren and many great-grandchildren, and other relatives.

     Visitation will be held at Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home,
2447 Des Plaines Avenue, North Riverside, IL 60546, on Tuesday, February 27, at 10 a.m. A service will begin at 11 a.m., followed by interment at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.

George Pacieznik goes to meet Jesus at age 83

Arms of Jesus embrace Vladimir Prichina

ABOVE:Sophia and Olexa in Germany.

LEFT: Sophie and Olexa at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration in 1996..

     Vladimir Prichina (Володимир Причина), a member of the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, passed into eternity on Friday, January 19, 2024. 

     After an illness, he died at 76 years of age.

     Brother Prichina, who was baptized by the Ukrainian Baptist Church of Chicago, remained a faithful member of the church for about 30 years.

     Condolences are expressed to his wife, Anna; children Sergio (Yelena) Pritchina, Valentin (Galyna) Pritchina, Adriana Prichina, Victoriya Prichina and Gloriya Prichina; and four grandchildren.

     Visitation will be held Thursday, January 25, at 9:30 a.m. at Kuratko-Nosek Funeral Home in North Riverside. A service will begin at 10 a.m. Burial will follow at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside.