Steven Howansky, 70

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.

Steven was also a supporter of the Ukrainian American Youth Association’s “Krylati” soccer teams, which he helped coach and manage at various stages. He was an avid sports fan, having also been a junior national champion in wrestling while in Poland. He particularly loved soccer, and his boisterous voice could be heard from the sidelines of practically any game he attended. He shared his love of sports with his children, who all played soccer for Wilton High School, and never missed the chance to attend their matches.

By profession, Steven was a mechanical engineer who received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York in the late 1970’s and worked for companies including U.S. Surgical Corporation in Norwalk, CT. So focused was Steven on his family that he chose to attend his son Mark’s kindergarten graduation rather than his own college graduation, held on the same day. A believer in education, Steven was proud when he returned to school later in life and, at the age of 54, obtained an executive MBA from the University of New Haven.

Steven is survived by his wife, Mary Nadia (neé Lozyniak); his son Mark Howansky, along with daughter-in-law Mary Hrywna and granddaughter Nadya; his daughter Diana (neé Howansky) Reilly, along with son-in-law Brian and granddaughter Olivia; his daughter Lena Howansky; his brother Peter Howansky, along with sister-in-law Nadia and extended family; and his brother-in-law Michael Barna and extended family. Perhaps one of Steven’s greatest joys during his last year of life was doting on his toddler granddaughters, who he was constantly buying presents for and trying to teach new things. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Anna Barna.

A vigil service will take place at approximately 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 14, at Whalen & Ball Funeral Home at 168 Park Avenue (on the corner of Glenwood Avenue) in Yonkers, NY. A funeral service will then be held at 11 am on Friday, Feb. 15 at St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church at 21 Shonnard Place in Yonkers, NY. Entombment will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery on Saw Mill River Road in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.

Donations in Steven Howansky’s memory can be made in the form of checks to Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna (OOL), P.O. Box 7, Clifton, NJ 07015-0007, USA, or to the charity of your choice.