Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Maria Heletkanycz (née Perun) of Philadelphia, PA passed away peacefully on September 11, 2023. She was 90 years old.
Maria was born in Turzansk, Lemkivschyna-Ukraine (modern day Poland) on August 25, 1933, to the late Ivan and Anna (Kimak) Perun. She had one younger brother (+Oleksa).
When Maria was young her family, and Ukrainians living in Lemkivschyna, were deported from their homes. Her family resettled to northern Poland where Maria met and married her beloved husband +Petro Heletkanycz in April 1957. They moved to Soviet Ukraine where their first child Anna was born in Chervonohrad in the Lviv region. After obtaining permission, Maria and her family were able to return to Lemkivschyna where Myroslaw and Roman were born. In 1987, Maria and Petro immigrated to the United States and resided in Philadelphia, PA.
Maria was rooted in her faith, and upheld Ukrainian traditions and customs that she passed down to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. From a young age she learned and memorized Ukrainian songs and poems, which came naturally to her. She loved Ukraine and was deeply concerned and invested in her homeland’s future. She quickly learned how to use a computer so that she could closely monitor political and social developments in Ukraine. She was the life of the party and was always smiling and making quick-witted jokes. She also worked hard, lovingly supported her family, ensured everyone was always well fed, sang beautifully, and tended to her bountiful and prolific garden.
Maria will be lovingly remembered by her daughter Anna Yaworsky (John), son Myroslaw Heletkanycz (+Maria) and Sylwia, and son Roman Heletkanycz (Danuta). She is also survived by her grandchildren, Oksana Yaworsky Bagnell (James), Natalie Yaworsky Lamley (Pieter), Ania Heletkanycz, Dr. Natalia Heletkanycz Szady (Reverand Pavlo), Andrew Heletkanycz, Daria Heletkanycz, her great-grandchildren, Sophia Rose Bagnell, Daniel James Bagnell, Kamila Anna Lamley, and Theodore Stefan Lamley, her niece Anna Perun Lech (Stanislaw), her sister-in-law Zofia Perun and many cousins, nieces and nephews in Ukraine, Poland, Canada, and United States.
Relatives and friends are invited to Maria’s Viewing beginning at 6:00pm on Friday, September 15 at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral 6740 N. 5th Street in Philadelphia, PA. The Panakhyda Prayers will be sung at 7:00pm.
Maria’s Funeral will occur on Saturday, September 16 at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral at 10:00am, with family greeting guests at 9:00am. Maria will be laid to rest at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery in Elkins Park, PA.
A Memorial Mass and Panakhyda will also be held on Saturday, September 16 at the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord in Jaroslaw, Poland at 9:00am by Reverend Pavlo Szady
Additionally, a Memorial Mass and Panakhyda will be held on Sunday, September 17 at St. Michael's Archangel Church in Turzansk, Poland. Maria and her family before her worshipped here, a current UNESCO World Heritage site, for over 200 years.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
The Organization of Defense of Lemkivschyna (OOL). Checks can be made payable to “OOL”. In the memo line please write "In memory of Maria Heletkanycz".
Revived Soldiers Ukraine (RSU). Checks can be made payable to “Anna Yaworsky”. In the memo line please write "RSU- “In memory of Maria Heletkanycz".
The Ukrainian Hour. Checks can be made payable to “The Ukrainian Hour.”
The Organization of Defense of Lemkivschyna (OOL)
P.O. Box 7, Clifton NJ 07015
Revived Soldiers Ukraine (RSU)
Ukrainian Hour - Radio Program
c/o J. Yaworsky, 1508 Society Hill Drive, Bensalem PA 19020