The Southwest Florida Ukrainian American community bid final farewell to one of its longtime members and activists, Dr. Wolodymyr Korol, 94, who died on July 2, 2016. He was born on April 6, 1922, in Bytkiw, in one of the most picturesque regions in the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine.He attended schools in his native town and eventually the University in L’viv.
Like most Ukrainian youth of his time, he became involved in the Ukrainian political organizations in the periodbetween World War I and World War II, while lands of Ukraine were divided among Soviet Russia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Romania, intending the restoration of Ukraine’s independence.
Eventually, he became a member of the 1st Division of Ukrainian National Army. Following his retirement from work in Pfizer, Inc. medical laboratory in Groton, Connecticut, in 1994, Wolodymyr and his wife Halyna, who predeceased him in 2014, came to North Port, to join a young but grooving, and very active, patriotic Ukrainian American community.
They got involved in the local organizations, the Ukrainian Orthodox congregation which was worshiping at St.
Andrew’s Ukrainian Church, and St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center, known in Ukrainian as “Oseredok” (the center).
Wolodymyr eventually became president of Oseredok and served several terms until his health forced him to slow down.
Having been keenly tuned in to the processes in his native Ukraine, in February 1990, Wolodymyr organized the Association to Provide Humanitarian Aid to Ukraine, a 501(c) (3) humanitarian entity, for the purpose of raising funds to help Ukraine, at that time just beginning to function as an independent nation. The organization was cooperating with the national Coordinating Committee to Help Ukraine in USA.
During the first week of the North Port organization’s existence it managed to raise $84,684 from approximately 300 donors, 31 of whom donated $1,000 each. The fundraising continued and libraries, orphanages, clinics and other institutions were the beneficiaries until very recently when many of the active members of the organization died or became disabled.
“Panakhyda,” the traditional Ukrainian requiem service for the repose of soul of deceased Wolodymyr was celebrated last Sunday at Farley’s North Port Chapel. Celebrants were Ukrainian Orthodox priests, the Rt. Rev.
John Fatenko and the Rev. Oleh Saciuk, with the Rt. Rev. Mitrate Archpriest Wolodymyr Woloszczuk, retired pastor of Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church, who also conveyed expression of sympathy on behalf of Pastor Rev. Vasyl Petriv and the Ukrainian American Catholic congregation.
Other speakers were Dr. Bohdan Bodnaruk on behalf of “Oseredok,” Professor Vira Bodnaruk on behalf of the Ukrainian Language Association, and Dr.
Wolodymyr Motyka on behalf of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Village Condominium and veterans of the Ukrainian National Army.
At the conclusion of the service, veterans of Ukrainian and American armies approached the casket and rendered individual hand salutes.
Solemn Requiem Divine Liturgy (Mass) was celebrated Monday, at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Church by the Rt. Rev.
John Fatenko and Rev.
The choir under the direction of Anastasia Fatenko responded beautifully at both, the Panakhyda on Sunday and Divine Liturgy on Monday.
Atanas Kobryn covers the Ukrainian community for the North Port Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com.
Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians
by Atanas Kobryn