September 30, 1929 - May 9, 2020
Resided in New York, NY
It is with a heavy heart that we share with family, friends and former students the news that Tamara Sydoriak, our loving mother, grandmother and teacher, passed away on May 9th at the age of 90. A graveside service at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery in South Bound Brook, NJ will be conducted by the Very Rev. Fr. Todor Mazur, pastor of the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City, where she was a long-time parishioner, choir member, and parish treasurer.
Tamara was born near the city of Baku, Azerbaijan. The family resided in several cities in the former Soviet Union, among them Krasnodar, Stavropol and Kursk. Her mother Ksenia passed away after giving birth to a baby brother, Yurij, who also died, leaving Tamara as an only child with her father, Oleksander. In the face of the advancing Red Army, she and her father evacuated by way of Crimea and southern Ukraine to Germany, where they became separated. Tamara was taken in by Semen and Anna Mandryka who served as her adoptive parents. At the conclusion of the war, Tamara resided in a Displaced Persons camp in Freimann, Germany, where she met and married her husband of 53 years, Yaroslaw in 1948. In 1950, they settled in New York City and had two children, Ihor and Oksana.
Tamara was a talented teacher, who believed small children learned best through singing. She composed songs and wrote small plays for school pageants. She taught Kindergarten for many years in Holy Ghost Ukrainian Catholic School in Brooklyn, NY, as well as in St. George School in New York City. Tamara was also a devoted teacher of first and second-graders at the Self Reliance School of Ukrainian Studies in New York and Holy Ghost School of Ukrainian Studies in Brooklyn, where she taught several generations of children to read, write, sing and cherish their Ukrainian heritage. As an active parishioner at Holy Trinity Cathedral, she helped infuse her love of Ukrainian culture into the youngest generation of parishioners, eventually paving the way to today’s thriving Sunday School program.
Tamara was a wonderful mother and grandmother, passing on her love of the Ukrainian language and music to her children, as well to her grandchildren Bohdan and Alexander, who will miss her greatly. Tamara was a fixture in Manhattan’s Ukrainian Village, where she would often be found taking a stroll, conversing with longtime friends, and being greeted by her former students or their children. Together with her husband Yaroslaw, she spent many happy summers with her children and grandchildren at Camp St. Basil, near Narrowsburg, NY, where her bungalow was the center of many happy gatherings and delicious meals for friends and family.
Tamara was a great inspiration to her many students, and we celebrate her giving and gracious nature. She is survived by her son Ihor with his wife Halyna Wysowska and son Alexander, and her daughter Oksana with her husband Mykola Yaremko and son Bohdan with wife Ekaterina Atamanova, as well as her extended family and friends in America, Canada, Russia and Ukraine.
May her memory be eternal - Vichnaya Pamyat!
Donations in her name may be made to the Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America (KMFA), or the Ukrainian Heritage and Education Center (UHEC).