We are profoundly saddened by the passing of our dear mother, Pelagia (née Zailo) Palasiuk, on Sunday June 14, 2020, at the age of 87.
Pelagia was born in the village of Ninowic, Jaroslaw, Ukraine on September 13, 1932, the daughter of Petro and Anastasia (Skochylas) Zailo. She and her five sisters and brother grew up in Río Grande do Sul in southern Brazil after emigrating from Ukraine in March 1937 when she and her twin sister Eva were four years old. At that time there was a large European contingent that settled in Southwestern Brazil. Baba and Dido raised seven children on their farm, teaching them from an early age to love God and their native language by reading the Bible, singing hymns and folk songs, as well as cooking, sewing and woodworking skills. Though simple, their family life was rich in culture and music.
As young adults Mama and two of her sisters moved to Porto Alegre and began to make their living using their sewing skills. They became part of the local Ukrainian community and took part in choirs and theatrical groups.
In 1961 upon invitation by the Pidhirsky family, Pelagia came to Philadelphia where she met and married Michael Palasiuk (who predeceased her- 1987) and grew her family. Her dear sister Maria joined her in the US in 1963 when Luba was born, as her Godmother. Pelagia was blessed to have a very close relationship with Maria throughout the years ultimately living across the street from each other in 1979, in the Fox Chase area.
Pelagia was an amazing mother; she was quiet, thoughtful, hardworking and creative. Her greatest gifts to her family were not wrapped in fancy bows...she gave her love and devotion...along with her homemade breads, lemon cookies and those French fries!
Pelagia bore her crosses privately, without self pity. She was a resilient fighter who never wanted to be a burden to her children. How she managed to create a warm nurturing home with her limited resources is a testament to her strength of character and enduring faith in God. Pelagia spoke kindly of others and has been fondly referred to as 'the best mother in law one could ever wish for.'
For Pelagia her garden was her sanctuary. There she could lose herself for hours! She grew the juiciest and sweetest tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, raspberries...and many more fruits and veggies.
Music played such an important role in Pelagia's world. Her bond with music never faded and songs from her past would trigger joyful memories as she sang her heart out in her beautiful soprano voice. She especially loved to sing 'God Bless America' no doubt channeling her pride in becoming a US citizen.
We want to remember our mother as a graceful, humble, faithful, empathetic, beautiful woman--a true blessing in our lives-- whose memory will forever endure in our hearts.
Pelagia leaves behind her children Luba Kujdych (Roman), Maria Stefurak (Bill) and Roman Palasiuk (Katrina); her dear sisters Anna Sulipa, Maria Szweda, Slawka Capustan and Olga Ferrari; her grandchildren Nick, Luke, Rostyk, Matt, Evanna, Joseph, Anneka and Evie; and many many nieces, nephews and cousins in the US, Brazil and England.
To all of Pelagia's devoted caregivers over the years, we would like to express our most sincere gratitude for your love and compassion. We have been truly blessed to have you in our lives.
Pelagia's family will greet friends on Saturday at 9 AM at Annunciation BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church, Melrose Park, PA. Requiem Liturgy will be celebrated at 10:30 AM, with her Panakhyda starting at 10:20AM. Burial will follow at Lawnview Cemetery.
Having just entered into a phase that our Churches are now open, we ask that everyone exercise the same social restraints as were being followed during this Covid-19 virus pandemic; a mask MUST be worn according to the dictates of the Archeparchy, please try to maintain social distancing. Seating in the church will be every other pew and please be sure to be six feet apart; the Liturgy itself will be recited, not sung.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Pelagia's name can be made to the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate . The Sisters have a Go Fund Me page set up for their fundraising efforts: GoFundMe, https://www.gofundme.com/f/stjosephshome?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet
From the Palasiuk family: Even a small donation could help St. Joseph Adult Care Home reach their fundraising goal. And if you can't make a donation, it would be great if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word.
Thanks for taking a look!
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Pelagia Palasiuk, please visit our floral store.
Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate/St. Joseph's Adult Care Home
P.O. Box 8, #125 Sisters Servants Lane, Sloatsburg NY 10974-0008