Borys Kuchynsky, 91, of Upper Arlington, OH, formerly of Maplewood, NJ, passed away Saturday, February 4, 2017, at home surrounded by his family.
He was born in Dremajliwka, Ukraine on July 29, 1925 to Kyrillo and Maria (Batiuta) Kutschinsky. His childhood in Ukraine was very turbulent – his family often targeted, accused of anti-Bolshevik activities. In 1929, his father was arrested and sent far North to a labor camp, leaving a 4 year old Borys and his mother alone to fend for themselves. Just 3 years later, a widespread famine gripped Ukraine (1932/1933 Holodomor). He recalled how the church bells tolled incessantly announcing the death of yet another villager, how his classroom of 40 dwindled to 4 by the end of the famine. Approximately half the residents of his village starved to death, including his beloved Aunt Dunia. Recollections of this time and the friends and family he had lost, barely surviving himself, often moved him to tears. Despite these difficult circumstances, his mother (a schoolteacher) was able to impart a curiosity about the world and a thirst for knowledge - and to that end, the importance of education and the will to survive. And always, to do the right thing.
When his father was released from labor camp in 1937, the family moved to Mariupol on the Black Sea in search of a calmer life. But soon the troubles began again. In 1943, Borys fled Ukraine with his father and traveled as far West as they were able to by train. They found refuge in Austria. While there, he completed his studies at the 'Technische Hochschule" in Graz, specializing in Electrical Engineering. During this time he met his future wife, Gertraud (nee Kreissl). The couple married in 1953 and then, encouraged by tales of employment opportunities abroad, emigrated to America in 1956.
Borys quickly secured a position as an Electrical Engineer with Westinghouse in Newark, NJ. For the next 25 years, he experienced the calm that eluded him as a child. Having purchased his first home in Maplewood, NJ, he focused on work, raising his growing family and perfecting his game of tennis. Summer vacations were spent on the beaches of Wildwood Crest where he could be seen in deep concentration over a game of chess or other times, at the Ukrainian Sports Camp in Glen Spey, NY sharing his love of tennis with the campers he coached. In the winter, the slopes of Silver Mine beckoned. He finished off his career with Westinghouse at the company's Philadelphia location, moving with his family to the suburb of Glen Mills, PA for a brief three year period.
In the final chapter of his career, Borys took a position with American Electric Power (AEP) in Columbus, OH. This prompted the family's move to Upper Arlington, OH in 1984, where Borys remained until his death. He retired from AEP in 1994 at the age of 69, having just completed 10 years of service. He filled his new found free time hiking the Metroparks of Columbus with his wife, visiting/vacationing with his children and grandchildren, and continuing to play his beloved tennis well into his 80's. He approached each challenge in life with optimism and acceptance, never complaining. He would just say – 'that's life' and move on. Overall, he was content – America had been kind to him.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Gertraud (Kreissl) Kuchynsky; his children, Maria Iwanechko of Hillsborough, NJ, Victor Kuchynsky of Columbus, OH, Andrew (Amy) Kuchynsky of Wantagh, NY; his grandchildren, Kristin Iwanechko of Atlanta GA, Danielle Iwanechko of Hillsborough NJ, Kyle, Eric & Caroline Kuchynsky of Wantagh, NY.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Valentina Kutschinsky on Feb 9, 1993, and his oldest son, Peter, on July 28, 2012.
Visitation will be held on Friday February 10, 2017 from 12 pm until the time of the Funeral Liturgy celebrated at 12:30 pm at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church, South Bound Brook, NJ. Interment will be at St. Andrew Cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Ukrainian Genocide Famine Foundation – USA, Inc. (www.ukrainiangenocide.org) or the Kobacker House / OhioHealth Hospice (www.ohiohealth.com/locations/hospice/kobacker-house). The Union Funeral Home in Union, NJ has been entrusted with arrangements.