Maria Bojczuk passed away quietly in her home on July 13, 2020. She was a woman of great strength and will; loved God; and lived her life fiercely, determined and devoted in all areas of her life. She was born Maria Posypanko in the Lemko region, in the village of Rozstajny, Jaslo, Ukraine.
Farm living as a child gave her a lifelong love for the land and she cultivated that love by tending to her prolific flower and vegetable gardens, foraging for wild mushrooms in the woods and going on orchard picking outings with family and friends. The harsh realities of WWII took her from her family at the tender age of 14 to labor on a German farm as so many Ukrainians were forced to do. It would be 33 years before she ever got to see her family again.
At war’s end, she accepted England’s support to start a new life and moved to Nottingham. She became a seamstress, and met and married her beloved Mykola. Their mission to build a strong Ukrainian community in diaspora spanned the rest of their lives as a foundation for the life they lived. She was pregnant with her 1st child Halia while performing as a dancer in Mykola’s touring dance ensemble. In 1958, they moved to America to build a new life in Philadelphia, where she gave birth to their second daughter, Irena.
Raising a family and working full-time never slowed her down. She worked tirelessly. Together with Mykola, they built a summer home by hand in the Ukrainian Homestead community of Lehighton, PA to give their children and grandchildren the closest experience to their own homeland that they could, held by a tight-knit community, working the land, enjoying nature and living freely. Maria sang in several choirs, sewed the traditional costumes and head pieces for all the dancers in their ensembles, and became known as the pyrogie lady, helping to feed all those who came to Ukrainian events. Even in her final days, she was always concerned to be sure all those around her were eating well. Maria’s life—her traumas and her challenges—forged her into a force of nature. Fierce, caring and sincere, she would move mountains and do whatever it took to take care of her own. And everyone was one of her own. All those who knew her ( “Буся” ), have stories they can tell. No words can describe how deeply she touched us all. She was cute, crazy, playful, anxious, adorable, funny, simple and intense. At 4’10” she was as big as life can be.
She leaves behind her 2 daughters Halia (& husband Orest Wirstiuk) & Irene (& partner Doug Smith), and her 3 grandchildren Markian, Христинка (& fiancé David Shaw) & Iko (& wife Erin), who all adored, admired and cherished her with all their hearts. She will be deeply missed.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, those wishing to attend services are required to wear masks, and maintain social distancing to insure safety.
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Annunciation BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church
1206 Valley Road, Melrose Park PA 19046
UECC's Radio Program
700 N Cedar Road, Jenkintown PA 19046
Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center
700 Cedar Road, Jenkintown PA 19046