Steven Howansky, a long-time resident of Wilton, CT, passed away on Feb. 11 following a struggle with lung cancer. He was 70.
Steven was born on May 2, 1942 to Damian and Fotyna Howansky in the village of Zdynia in the Lemko region of southeastern Poland. A defining moment in his life occurred when, during the summer of 1947, the Polish government forcibly relocated him and his family from their ancestral lands across the country, along with more than 140,000 members of the Ukrainian minority, during a resettlement campaign called Operation “Vistula” — a subject that brought tears to Steven’s eyes whenever he later discussed it in public. Steven eventually immigrated to the United States in the early 1960’s, but he never forgot his homeland or his Ukrainian roots, becoming a local leader within groups such as the Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna, the Lemko Research Foundation, Inc., and the Ukrainian Lemko Museum in Stamford, CT. He devoted an enormous amount of energy organizing events such as dances, festivals, and Christmas caroling as fund-raisers for these Ukrainian Lemko organizations.