Dr. Orest Rudzik at a conference in 1995.

Orest Rudzik, professor, lawyer, community activist

OAKVILLE, Ontario – Dr. Orest H. T. Rudzik, a university professor, lawyer and Ukrainian community activist, died on December 8 at Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital of cranial injuries resulting from a fall. He was born in Toronto in 1936, the son of Ukrainian parents. He earned his Honors B.A. (University College) at the University of Toronto, his M.A. from the University of Chicago (where he was a William Rainey Harper Fellow) and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He taught in the Department of English at University College from 1961 to 1986, during which time he was a post-doctoral fellow at the Humanities Center of the Johns Hopkins University in 1968-1969. He created a Canadian Literature Program for Atkinson College at York University.

Sviatoslav Karavansky at the Ukrainian National Association in 1980.

Sviatoslav Karavansky, prominent Soviet-era political prisoner, dies

PHILADELPHIA – Sviatoslav Karavansky, a prominent Ukrainian anti-Soviet dissident, twice imprisoned in Soviet concentration camps for a total of 31 years, died at the age of 95 on December 17 at a hospital in Baltimore. He had been living in the U.S. since 1980, soon after being released with his wife, Dr. Nina Strokata, likewise an inmate of Soviet prisons, who was arrested for protesting her husband’s incarceration. Born December 24, 1920, in Odesa, Ukraine, Mr. Karavansky studied philology and literature at the local university at the same time as he participated in the activities of student groups linked to the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) underground. Arrested by the Soviet security police in 1944, he refused to become a secret informer to report on fellow students and consequently was given a 25-year sentence. He served his prison term in various Siberian hard-labor camps.

Orysia Paszczak Tracz

Orysia Paszczak Tracz, cultural activist (1945-2016)

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Orysia Paszczak Tracz, a well-known writer and activist who specialized in Ukrainian culture and ethnology, died suddenly on November 10 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She had been hospitalized briefly after suffering a stroke. Ms. Tracz’s love and knowledge of Ukrainian traditions, ethnography and song were the essence of her spirit. A researcher, lecturer, translator and storyteller, her activities spanned the globe, from Australia, throughout Canada, the U.S. and Ukraine. An obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press noted that a local broadcaster had once called her “a walking, talking Ukrainian encyclopedia.”

She was born in 1945 in a displaced person’s camp in Berchtesgaden, Bavaria, following World War II and her family’s escape to the West.

John B. Gregorovich in 1996 in front of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.

John B. Gregorovich, 89, lawyer, Ukrainian Canadian community activist

OTTAWA – The Ukrainian Canadian community is mourning the loss of a community leader who inspired others to follow in his footsteps, regardless of the odds, to serve the Ukrainian Canadian people. John B. Gregorovich, known to many as “JB,” lived a life of commitment, leadership and perseverance in the face of discrimination, injustice and deceit. His life was dedicated to serving and supporting Canada’s Ukrainian community. Mr. Gregorovich died on September 26 at the age of 89. “It is with deep sadness that I extend condolences to the family and friends of John B. Gregorovich,” said UCC National President Paul Grod.

Lubov Kolensky at her desk at Svoboda, then located in Jersey City, N.J.

Lubov Lydia Kolensky, 93, writer, former editorial staffer of Svoboda

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Lubov Lydia Kolensky, a former editorial staff member of the Ukrainian-language newspaper Svoboda, died on August 14 at the age of 93. Mrs. Kolensky was both an author and a journalist. She wrote novelettes, short stories, sketches and dramas, as well as poetry. She continued writing poetry, in both the Ukrainian and English languages, long after she retired and later moved to Sloatsburg, N.Y.

She was an editor for 25 years at Svoboda, where her colleagues knew her as an energetic and creative writer. She was born Lubov Savchak on April 17, 1923, in the Ukrainian city of Stanislaviv (now known as Ivano-Frankivsk), completed school in Lviv and then attended university in Innsbruck, Austria, studying philosophy.

Bishop Richard Seminack

Bishop Richard Seminack of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Chicago

PHILADELPHIA – Bishop Richard Stephen Seminack of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago, fell asleep in the Lord, on August 16 after a prolonged illness. At the time of his death, he was serving as the fourth bishop of the Chicago eparchy. Bishop Seminack was born on March 3, 1942, to Raymond and Anna Cwiek Seminack in Philadelphia. His paternal grandparents emigrated from Ternopil, Ukraine, while his maternal grandparents came from Peremyshl.

The Rev. Joseph Szupa

The Very Rev. Joseph T. Szupa, 51

PHILADELPHIA – The Very Rev. Joseph T. Szupa, 51, suddenly fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, July 10. He had just concluded the 11 a.m. divine liturgy at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia, where he served as rector since July 1, 2015. Father Szupa, a native of Chester, Pa., was one of five children, born to the late Andrij and Eva (née Hrebinec) Szupa on May 12, 1965. He received his elementary education at Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic School in Chester and in the fall of 1979 entered St. Basil Preparatory School in Stamford, Conn.  After graduation in 1983 and sensing a call to the priesthood, he enrolled in St.

Pavel Sheremet in a photo posted on his Facebook page in November 2013.

Journalist Pavel Sheremet, 44, killed by car bomb in Kyiv

KYIV – Pavel Sheremet, an award-winning journalist whose reporting challenged the authorities in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine over the past two decades, was killed on July 20 when the car he was driving was destroyed by a bomb in downtown Kyiv. Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko called Mr. Sheremet’s death a “murder,” saying the blast was caused by an “explosive device” and that all evidence points to an assassination. Colleagues said they believed it was linked to his work. Belarusian-born Mr. Sheremet, 44, a journalist at news website Ukrayinska Pravda, was driving to the offices of Radio Vesti to do a regular morning show when the bomb went off at about 7:45 a.m., officials said. The Internal Affairs Ministry said the explosives were planted underneath the car and the blast was set off by “possibly a remote-controlled or delayed-action” detonator.

Prof. Orest Subtelny in a photo from his teaching days.

Orest Subtelny, noted historian and political scientist, 75

TORONTO – Orest Subtelny, a noted historian and political scientist, a university professor, scholar and author, passed away peacefully on July 24, after succumbing to cancer and dementia. He was 75. Born in Krakow, occupied Poland, on May 17, 1941, he came to the United States with his parents as a refugee in 1949. In his new hometown of Philadelphia he attended the renowned Central High School and was active in Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization, where he made many lifelong friendships, especially in his fraternity, Burlaky. After graduating from Temple University with a B.A. in 1965 and from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with an M.A. in 1967, he completed his Ph.D. at Harvard University in 1973 in history and Middle Eastern studies.


Eva Uzych, Pennsylvania community activist, 94

WALLINGFORD, Pa. – Eva Uzych (née Soroka) went to her eternal rest on May 20 at the age of 94. As a faculty member, at the former Eddystone High School, in Eddystone, Pa., she was a teacher for 10 years. A loving wife, she was married for many years to the late Dr. Walter Uzych, an ear, nose, and throat doctor who practiced in Chester, Pa. She was born on June 4, 1921, in Philadelphia.