Luba Dolnycka Onuferko, a retired teacher and chemist, died peacefully in her home in Hollywood (Abington Township), PA., on the morning of Oct. 9, 2020, at the age of 94.
Born May 1, 1926 in Skole (Lviv region), Ukraine, Luba Christine was the youngest child of Stefan and Neonila Dolnyckyj, sister to Mstyslav, Taras, and Zenon (all deceased). She completed elementary school and began her secondary education in her hometown of Skole. During the war her family was able to escape to Vienna, where both her parents died. She continued her secondary education with other Ukrainian refugees in Salzburg and Graz. After the war, she emigrated to the U.S., as did her two brothers Mstyslav and Zenon, sponsored by their maternal uncle, Rev. Myron Danylowych, Ukrainian Catholic pastor in Minersville, PA. Her brother Taras was lost in the war, and his fate remains unknown.
In 1947, she enrolled in the inaugural class at Manor Junior College, a Catholic liberal arts school established by the Ukrainian Basilian Sisters (Order of St. Basil the Great), graduating in 1949. She married Markian T. Onuferko in 1951 and they shared a life together until his death in 2010. In the first years of their marriage Luba did lab work at Philadelphia Children’s Hospital and at Booth, Garret, and Blair Laboratories, attending night classes at Temple University, from which she earned a BS in chemistry in 1956.
Luba began her teaching career at St. Basil’s Academy, where she taught mathematics and science from 1960-1967. In 1967 she was hired by Upper Merion Senior High School (King of Prussia, Pa.) to teach chemistry. She was a member of the National Education Association and the Pennsylvania State Education Association. While teaching, she continued her own studies, earning a master’s degree in secondary education at Temple University in 1969. She retired from teaching in 1991.
Throughout her life, Luba remained active in the Philadelphia area’s Ukrainian community. She was a founding member of St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church and was always present at the first Sunday Divine Liturgy up until pandemic restrictions prevented her from attending. She served as secretary-treasurer of the Boykivske Tovarystvo (Boyko Region Society) for many years. She was a lifetime member of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America. She also helped tutor immigrant Ukrainians in English and assisted numerous senior citizens in the community. She enjoyed traveling and instilled in her children a keen interest in family roots, a love of education, of investigating new places, and of service to others.
She is survived by: her children -- Martha O. DeBlieu and her husband, Kenneth A. DeBlieu, of Stockton, N.J., the Very Rev. Dr. Andrew T. Onuferko and his wife Maria Stecyszyn Onuferko of Ottawa, On. (Canada), and Nila Onuferko and her husband Norman Schoenfeld of Maplewood, N.J.; her three grandchildren – Dr. Thomas Onuferko and his wife Stephanie Tessier, Marijka DeBlieu and her husband, and Anna Onuferko (a fourth grandchild, Basil Onuferko, died in 2013); and her two great granddaughters, Piper Kennedy and Emilia Victoria Onuferko. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews with their families, including George Dolnycky of Feasterville, PA., Myron Dolnycky of Baltimore, MD., Irene Dolnycky Tolley of Manassas, VA., and Anya Dolnyckyj Fat of Robbinsville, N.J. She is fondly remembered and mourned by her many relatives and friends in Ukraine, North America, and throughout the world.
The funeral will be held on Thursday, Oct. 15, at St. Michael the Archangel’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 1013 Fox Chase Rd., Jenkintown, PA. Burial to follow at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Cemetery, 438 Cedar Rd., Fox Chase, PA. The funeral services will be livestreamed on the parish Facebook page. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, church attendance will be limited, and no public reception will be held at this time. Burial arrangements are being made by Fletcher-Nasevich Funeral Home in Philadelphia, PA.
In his tribute to the deceased, Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan-Archbishop Most Rev. Borys Gudziak of Philadelphia wrote: “A wonderful woman, full of joy, support for others and the community as a whole. Down to earth and uplifting… Mrs. Onuferko made me smile every time I saw her or even thought of her. I think that Luba Onuferko understood that the Kingdom of God begins here, and she lived it here. Now Luba, of blessed memory, will live it in eternity.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the following:
* Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation (benefits Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv, Ukraine), 2247 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL 60622, (773) 235-8462, www.ucef.org
* Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great, 710 Fox Chase Rd., Fox Chase Manor, PA 19046, (215) 379-3998, www.stbasils.com, select “Support” at bottom of page.
* Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center, 700 Cedar Rd., Jenkintown, PA, 19046, www.ueccphila.org/donate
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Ukrainian Catholic Education Foundation
2247 W. Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60622
Sisters of St. Basil the Great
710 Fox Chase Road, Fox Chase Manor, PA PA 19046
Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center
700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown PA 19046