Daria Chymych (born Bardachivska) was unpretentious to a fault but her humble lifestyle hid her considerable achievements. She studied and became a doctor of Dental Surgery in Berlin before WWII cut her off from her family and home.
Daria was born on February 13, 1921 to Rev. Andriy Bardachiwsky and Olena (Weselowska) in Western Ukraine in a region known as Boykivshchyna. She was sent away to a boarding school in Przemsl which she hated with a passion but where she made some life-long friends. Undoubtedly, this is where Daria picked up her aversion to discipline and why she showered her two children with unrestricted love.
Undaunted by the loss of her mother, father, brother and most of her close family during the war, Daria prevailed and practiced dentistry while still a refugee in a Displaced People’s camp in Neumarkt, Germany. To this day, several of her patients still remember Dr. Darka as being so sweet that it helped them overcome the horrible pain associated with too many sweets.
Daria not only found a career in the camps but also her husband. Nicholas Chymych, a metallurgical engineer from Poltava and former prisoner of war somehow won her heart with a lecture on Donbas; it probably wasn’t a talk on coal that swooned her. In 1949, along with thousands of other Eastern European refugees, she sailed to her future in North America. For 64 years, she lived in Germantown, Philadelphia, where no one ever uttered an unkind word about “baba”.
Hiding the emotional scars of her childhood and trauma of war, Daria loved it when the world laughed with her. Easy to confide in, Pani Darka always found time for intimate moments with her friends but nothing was more important to her than the happiness of her son and daughter.
Daria was gentle and exceptionally forgiving. Her dearest quirk was greeting everyone, whether they were coming or going, with a “pa” (bye). I can still hear her final words, “pa Olenchu” and feel the warm glow of her love.
Daria wanted to be remembered in smiles not tears, and all surviving children and grandchildren and sons and daughters of friends, will have no trouble doing so. Daria was the mother of Olena (Andrew) Tkach and the late Ihor (Clare), and the grandmother of Sebastian and Michael.
Relatives and friends are invited to her viewing on Friday at 9:30 AM at Christ the King Ukrainian Catholic Church. Requiem Liturgy will be celebrated at 10 AM. Burial will follow at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery, South Bound Brook, NJ.
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