Ivanna Siryj Bilyk, a resident of Newtown, PA, passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, July 23, 2020.
Born on January 2, 1930 in the town of Lazy, Western Ukraine, she was the daughter of Ivan and Stefania (Lewyckyj) Siryj.
She attended grammar school in L’viv, spending her summers at her grandparents’ home in Lazy and the Sokil Ukrainian Scout (Plast) Camp in the Carpathian Mountains. She was forced to flee her homeland with her family at the close of the Second World War, arriving safely in the American zone in Vienna, Austria. Ivanna spent several years in a Displaced Persons camp in Salzburg, Austria, where she attended high school and hiked in the Alps with her fellow Ukrainian scouts.
Ivanna immigrated to the United States with her parents and brother Bohdan, disembarking the USS General Muir onto Ellis Island on October 1st, 1949. The family settled in Philadelphia. In 1951, she was one of the six founding members of the Plast kurin Chortopolokhy – Edelweiss – a reminder of their scouting adventures in the Austrian Alps. Ivanna married Alexander Bilyk on February 11th, 1956, and they remained at each other’s side until he passed on October 21st, 2016.
She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration at Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in Glenside PA, graduating in 1952. She worked initially as an accountant at the Stanley G. Flagg Foundry in Philadelphia before transitioning to Ukrainian Savings and Loan Association, eventually becoming bank treasurer and vice president.
Ivanna was active in the Ukrainian Catholic Church and a supporter of the Ukrainian Catholic University in L’viv, Ukraine. She also remained an active member of Plast and the Chortopolokhy kurin. She spent many summer weekends at the Vovcha Tropa scout camp in East Chatham New York, first visiting her children and then her grandchildren.
Ivanna is survived by her children: Natalie “Tunia” Shatynski (Theodore), Jurij (Anna) and Stephan (Andrea); her grandchildren: Andrijko, Pavlus', Mateyko, Melasia, Lesia, Elena and Sophia; and her brother, Bohdan Siryj (Roxolana).
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, memorial services and a celebration of her life will be postponed until a later date. Please monitor Fletcher-Nasevich website for details.
Private services will be held at the Annunciation BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church in Melrose Park, PA. A private burial will follow at St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Elkins Park, PA.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Ivanna's memory may be made to: Ukrainian Catholic Educational Foundation, 2247 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago IL 60622; or Plast Philadelphia, UECC, 700 Cedar Road Jenkintown, PA 19046
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ivanna Bilyk, please visit our floral store.
Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization - Philadelphia Branch
c/o Ukrainian Educational & Cultural Center, 700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown PA 19046
Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation
2247 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60622