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We share the sad news that our friend, Peter (Petro) Z. Choma, passed away on June 7, 2023 at the age of 71, due to illness.
A long time resident of Wayne, Pennsylvania, Petro was born and raised in the East Village of New York City. The son of the late Ol'ga (nee Yaworska) and Iwan Choma, Petro led a very fulfilling and multidimensional life. During his early years, Petro attended the St George Ukrainian Catholic Church Grade School. He served as an altar boy at the church and became a member of the Ukrainian Scouting Organization, Plast. As early as grade school, Petro demonstrated his brilliance and interest in the sciences, especially in mathematics. At this time he also fell in love with the game of volleyball, which he played throughout his life.
As a gifted student, Petro was accepted into Stuyvesant High School, the premier Public School in New York City, where he excelled. Upon graduation, Petro received a scholarship to the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (now known as the New York University Tanden School of Engineering) where he received both his BS and MS Degrees in Science. Petro then decided to pursue further graduate studies in Philadelphia at the University of Pennsylvania. He also became a member of Tau Beta Pi – the Engineer Honor Society.
After several jobs, Petro spent thirty years as a systems engineer at Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. He loved and enjoyed his work and was always at the forefront of tech and systems innovations. He was also a member of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers – Eta Kappu Nu (IEEE Honor Society).
Petro was very active in the Ukrainian hromada. He was a member of the Ukrainian Institute of America and while still in New York, Petro was the Chief operations manager of the New York Ukrainian Student Hromada (Tovarystvo Ukrains’kych Studentiv).
Petro loved tinkering with and building ‘stuff’. He helped build the Ukrainian Catholic churches at Glen Spey, New York, and at the Plast Camp “Vovcha Tropa” in East Chatham, New York.
Petro and his predeceased wife, Olena W. nee Stercho (Olena died in 2003), loved to entertain and shared their vibrancy as vital members of the Ukrainian community in Philadelphia and the surrounding area. Many of us fondly remember their annual pysanka craft workshops in their home in Wayne, PA. Petro began ballroom dancing classes with Olenka because she loved dancing and became an accomplished ballroom dancer in his own right. He continued the lessons in memory of her. They also enjoyed sailing and skiing.
For many, many years, Petro was a supporter and subscriber of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was an avid fan of classical music and listened to it constantly. He also enjoyed taking annual cruises all over the world. Petro loved watching British detective dramas like Grantchester, Inspector Morse, and Endeavour.
And yes, Petro's main passion in life remained the pursuit of knowledge, regardless of subject matter. He was curious about everything and liked to search the internet for new topics that attracted his endless curiosity. He was a speed reader with a photographic memory who could retain the most obscure theorems and code differentials.
Petro will be greatly missed by his friends, colleagues, neighbors, and the Ukrainian community.
The viewing will take place on Saturday, June 17th, 2023, at 10 AM at Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church at 519 Union Ave, Bridgeport, PA 19405. The Requiem liturgy will be celebrated at 11 AM. The internment will follow at Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery, King of Prussia, PA.
Donations in Petro's memory may be made to the Ukrainian Federation of America or Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center in Philadelphia.