Anna Werbowsky

Obituary of Anna Werbowsky

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dearly beloved mother Anna "Nusia" Werbowsky, age 86 into the arms of our Lord, Jesus Christ. She fell asleep peacefully at home in Syracuse, NY, surrounded by her loving family on Wednesday, February 16, 2022. Nusia, as she preferred to be called, was born on July 4, 1935 to Mr. and Mrs. Slepko in a small village in the Turka (Turkivsky) Raion, which was abolished in July 2020 and became part of the Sambir (Sambirsky) Raion of the Lviv Oblast in western Ukraine's Carpathian Mountains. When war broke out, her 2nd cousin Julia with her husband Osyp Sym adopted Nusia and fled their homeland. In the meantime, Nusia's biological mother, who was working in Germany, returned to Ukraine but their paths never crossed and 40 years would pass before Nusia would finally see her mother again. Traveling by horse-drawn wagon, they trekked across Hungary and Czechoslovakia and eventually settled in a displaced persons' camp in Regensburg, Germany. As a little girl, Nusia loved horses. Sneaking into the barn every evening, the powerful horse that pulled them across half of Europe would allow Nusia to hang from his neck while he lifted her high enough to reach additional hay. She never forgot her horse's final moments after sustaining an injury and it brought tears to our eyes every time she shared this story. The family eventually arrived at Ellis Island in NY Harbor. After briefly living, working and riding horses on a farm in Virginia, they moved back to NYC where Nusia attended St. George School and later got a job working alongside her cousin at the Sunshine Biscuit Bakery in Long Island City, Queens. At age 18, she married our father, Wasyl Werbowsky on May 23, 1954 at St. George's Ukrainian Catholic Church. Growing up, she disliked being an only child and her greatest wish was to have many children and be a good mother. They would have a total of 6 children (2 died at birth). One of their biggest sacrifices was selling their brick house in suburban Forest Hills, NY and moving to the East Village of NYC so that all of us kids would be in walking distance to St. George Church and School, various Ukrainian youth organizations and anything else the city could offer. Summers were spent in the Shawangunk-Catskill Mountains and Saturday nights were spent attending concerts and dancing away at Soyuzivka, the Ukrainian Heritage Center in Kerhonkson, New York. Our mother was truly a wonderful homemaker, who loved to cook and bake. She always had a special home-made cake for each of our birthdays, and the majority of our Thanksgivings, Christmas Eves and Easter celebrations were celebrated at home. We were spoiled and there was no place like home, especially during the holidays. When we became older, Mama worked as a keypunch operator at Harry Winston of 5th Avenue Jewelry. Our mother was attractive and she always tried to look her best. She closely resembled Elizabeth Taylor, a famous Hollywood actress and was often approached and embarrassed by strangers in public. Mama teased her long thick jet black hair upward to give her 4 ft. 11 in. petite frame additional height and she always wore high-heeled shoes everywhere and anywhere she went. Mama loved all of God's creatures and as kids growing up in a 6 room apartment on the 6th floor, we were fortunate to have pets. We remember Mama helping deliver Murka's kittens and how sympathetic she was when gathering the scampering youngsters for their feedings. She would play hide-and seek with Murka after most of us went to bed and even taught our large collie-shepherd dog Litzar to bark quietly so as not to wake up our father or the neighbors. Mama especially adored her parakeets and doted over them obsessively. We had many good laughs listening to these entertaining and talented birds talking and singing in Ukrainian. After living in NYC for about 30 years, our parents moved upstate to Accord, NY, where they became active parishioners at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Kerhonkson, NY. Mama was religious and found strength through prayer and attending church services. She was a member of the League of Ukrainian Women (Soyuz Ukrayinok, Branch #89 in honor of Lesia Ukrayinka), sang in the church choir and enjoyed preparing programs for concerts, festivals and various commemorations at Soyuzivka. She was a gifted writer and had the ability to express thoughts and emotions effectively through words. Her spontaneously, off-the-cuff poems on any topic made us either laugh histerically or made our eyes swell with tears. Mama was always a social butterfly. She loved music and dancing, relished the company of people and enjoyed sharing good and sometimes even salty jokes with her friends. These activities uplifted her spirits, gave her emotional and physical strength, and helped her forget and endure any pain or sorrows that she may have had in her life. Mama also had a green thumb. She got enormous pleasure from her ever expanding flower garden, where nothing was ever thrown away. It only multiplied and gave rise to year-round flowers everywhere! Mama was funny, silly and adventurous, and enjoyed riding on the back of a motorcycle with our brother and once with her nephews while evading Soviet police in Zhydachiv, Ukraine. Most of all, our mother lived up to her goals and her greatest accomplishment in life was attained. By far, she was an excellent mother/wife, and homemaker to her children and husband. Dearest Mama, you were the best mother any child could have had. We will miss your humor, laughter, singing, love, warmth and friendship, our fun times together and the corny, serious and funny conversations we had on an array of topics. We promised to take care of you until our Lord took you Home and may you now rest peacefully in His arms. We love you dearly and miss you immensely. Nusia is survived by her 96 year old husband, Wasyl. In May 2022, they would have celebrated 68 years of marriage. Besides her husband, she is survived by her four children: three daughters, Oksana Duda (son-in-law Peter), Maria Werbowsky, and Elizabeth LaPointe, and her son, Zenon Werbowsky (daughter-in-law Laurie). Nusia leaves behind 7 grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. She was recently predeceased by her grandson Mykola John Duda. Arrangements are entrusted to Macko-Vasallo Funeral Home, 1609 West Genesee St. Syracuse, NY 13204. Viewing is scheduled for Sunday, February 20, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Panachyda service will be at 6:30 p.m. Funeral and Parastas service will be held at St. Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 141 Sarah Wells Trail, Campbell Hall, NY 10916 on Monday, February 21, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. to be followed by burial on the premises at Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery. A tryzna/luncheon gathering will take place afterwards on the premises at the church hall. In lieu of flowers, donations in Anna's name can be made to Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, 211 Foordmore Rd, Kerhonkson, NY 12446.
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Sunday
20
February

Prayer Service

6:30 pm
Sunday, February 20, 2022
Macko-Vassallo Funeral Home
1609 West Genesee Street
Syracuse, New York, United States
Monday
21
February

Funeral Service

1:00 pm
Monday, February 21, 2022
St. Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church
141 Sarah Wells Trail
Campbell Hall, New York, United States
Monday
21
February

Final Resting Place

1:00 pm
Monday, February 21, 2022
Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery
 
Goshen, New York, United States

Visitation at Funeral Home

Macko-Vassallo Funeral Home
1609 West Genesee Street
Syracuse, New York, United States
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