American Patriotic 11

George Sawchak

August 21, 2021

Obituary

The family of George Sawchak strongly suggests, if you are attending the services on Saturday, that you wear a mask in light of the increased danger from the spread of the new Covid 19 variants. 

 

George Sawchak passed away August 21 after battling a long illness.  Born on April 27, 1939 in Lviv, Ukraine, he immigrated to the United States in 1950 after fleeing communist-overrun Ukraine with his family — father Roman, mother Jaroslawa and sister Halyna — and spending five years in Mittenwald, Germany at a displaced persons’ camp where he excelled in school and sports.  He was active in the Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization, was a competitive chess player and an avid stamp collector before sports began to play a more significant role for him. 

At Bishop Neumann High School in Philadelphia, he excelled in math and played on both the basketball and soccer teams and ran track.  He attended Drexel University where he was a starting member of the famed men’s soccer team that won the NCAA championship in 1958 with an undefeated season.  He also competed on the men’s tennis team where he won 16 straight singles matches, a record at the time. At Drexel, he participated in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), one of the nation’s first ROTC units.  In 1963, he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army in the Engineer branch.

After marrying Patricia (Kociubajlo) Sawchak in Philadelphia in 1963, the young couple moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he served in the XVIII Airborne Corps from 1963 to 1967 in the 92d Engineer Battalion, attaining the rank of Captain.  Upon leaving the Army, he moved back to Philadelphia to begin his career.  While working as a professional engineer (P.E.) and the father of two small children, Tetiana and Leda, he returned to Drexel to earn his MBA.  He spent his career as a director of engineering for companies such as the FMC Link-Belt Corp., British Tyre and Rubber, and Rexnord Corp., before retiring. 

Outside of his family and career, he was incredibly devoted to tennis, teaching and playing the sport. For more than 50 consecutive years, he ran the Soyuzivka Tennis Camp (along with his partner Zenon Snylyk for many of those years), bringing his love of tennis to thousands of young players; he ran many Sports Federation of the USA and Canada Fourth of July and Labor Day tennis tournaments for years and was a member of the USCAK Tennis Committee since 1967 and its director since 1989.  He was also the tennis director of Tryzubiwka for many years.  In 1991, he organized and led the Ukrainian-American USCAK tennis team who traveled to Ukraine to play in the Olympiad.  In 2016, he was inducted into the Ukrainian Sports Hall of Fame for his tremendous leadership and play.

Closer to home, he was the club champion at the legendary Rifle Club before helping to found Delaware Valley Tennis Club in Huntingdon Valley, PA where he was a member for more than 40 years, a pastpresident, vice president and director for many years.  There he played recreationally and competed in and organized many club and sanctioned tournaments over the years.  He also served as the captain of many United States Tennis Association senior men’s intersectional teams, organizing groups to compete across the United States for many years.  He was the head instructor of the Advanced Gold Club program and an instructor of the National Junior Tennis League.  A tremendous organizer and competitor, he also won a countless number of tournaments throughout his many years of competitive play.

In addition to his love of tennis, he was very passionate about music. He played the piano and sang in a jazz band during his high school and college.  For more than 40 years, he sang in the Prometheus Male Chorus as a second tenor, very much enjoying the camaraderie of the group.  He also loved playing the piano at home and could always be heard humming or singing.  But above all, he adored his family both in the United States and Ukraine.

He is survived by his wife, Patricia of 57 years; daughter Tetiana (fiancée Dawei Yin) and granddaughters Ariadna and Juliette; daughter Leda (Don) and granddaughter Katya; his sister, Halyna Kutko; and many nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to his viewing on Saturday at 9 AM at Annunciation BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church, Melrose Park.  Panachida prayers will be sung at 10:15 AM with Requiem Liturgy celebrated at 10:30 AM.  Military Honors will be held at 12:45 PM at St. Mary Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery, Elkins Park, PA followed by Committal Prayers.

Donations in George’s memory can be made to the Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center, Annunciation of the BVM Church, Soyuzivka Heritage Center or Tryzub Ukrainian American Sport Center.

 

The family of George Sawchak strongly suggests, if you are attending the services on Saturday, that you wear a mask in light of the increased danger from the spread of the new Covid 19 variants. 

 

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of George Sawchak, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Saturday
August 28, 2021

9:00 AM to 10:15 AM
Annunciation of the BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church
1206 Valley Road (Corner of Old York Rd & Valley Rd)
Melrose Park, PA 19027

Panachida
Saturday
August 28, 2021

10:15 AM
Annunciation of the BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church
1206 Valley Road (Corner of Old York Rd & Valley Rd)
Melrose Park, PA 19027

Requiem Liturgy
Saturday
August 28, 2021

10:30 AM
Annunciation of the BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church
1206 Valley Road (Corner of Old York Rd & Valley Rd)
Melrose Park, PA 19027

Military Honors
Saturday
August 28, 2021

12:45 PM
St. Mary Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery
438 Cedar Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027

Committal
Saturday
August 28, 2021

1:00 PM
St. Mary Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery
438 Cedar Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027

Donations

Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center
700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown PA 19046
Web: https://www.ueccphila.org/

Annunciation BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church
1206 Valley Road, Melrose Park PA 19046
Tel: 1-215-635-1627
Web: http://www.ukrainianbvm.com/

Ukrainian-American Sports Center - Tryzub
P.O. Box 346, Horsham PA 19044
Tel: 1-215-343-5412
Email: info@tryzub.org
Web: http://www.tryzub.org/

Soyuzivka Heritage Center
216 Foordmore Road, Kerhonkson NY 12446
Tel: 1-845-626-5641
Email: soyuzivkaoffice@gmail.com
Web: https://soyuzivka.com/

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