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John Swyrydenko

September 11, 1929 June 23, 2020
John Swyrydenko
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Obituary for John Swyrydenko

Reverend John Boholub Swyrydenko departed this world to join his ancestors on June

23, 2020 in his home, with his wife of 66 years, Elena Svittana Swyrydenko by his side.

Along with his son Victor Swyrydenko and daughter in-law Barbara, his daughter Natalia

Girardi and son in-law Michael and grandson Darrick Girardi. He is survived by his sister

in-laws and brother in-laws Alexandra Mylassia Korol, Paul and Romana Czerepacha,

Halya and Hans Leo Tuelings, his cousin Boris Ovcharenko and wife Katarina, many

loving nieces and nephews along with other relatives and friends in Ukraine.

His early life in Ukraine was a very difficult one. He survived the Ukrainian Holocaust

Holodomor (created by Stalin) as a young child, with just days left to live they were able

to obtain some food in the spring whereby he survived. Shortly thereafter, his father,

Boris Ovcharenko was seized, arrested, and shot by the Bolsheviks. His mother, Eudokia

Ovcharenko remarried several years later to Dmytro Swyrydenko who himself was

arrested and imprisoned to Siberia for being a land owner. Only after escaping Siberia

was he able to return to his hometown and his new family. Their life in Ukraine was then

disrupted by the invasion of Nazi forces in WW II. In 1943 the Nazi’s shipped the family

to Poland then to Germany. They were incarcerated in several concentration camps

including the infamous Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Shortly thereafter, at the age of

15, John was sent to a slave labor camp where they constructed tunnels and runways for

the Nazis until liberated by British and American forces.

After the war John remained in Germany. He entered a trade school and joined the

MSO (Mixed Service Organization) for the British Army. He resided in a Displaced

Persons Camp where he met his lovely wife Elena. They married in May 18, 1954. Due

to immigration issues John had to leave Germany and immigrated to the USA first. In the

meantime, Elena had their son Victor. She immigrated to the USA the following year in 1955.

John and Elena settled in Bridgeport, Ct. Two years later they had a daughter Natalia. Both

took on jobs and forged ahead to achieve the “American Dream”. During their time in the United

States they dedicated themselves to their family, friends and the Ukrainian community.

John was ordained as a Reverend of the Ukrainian Native Faith and dedicated his life to his

Faith. He lived a rich and interesting life. He was a wonderful husband to his wife, loving and

caring to his children, grandson and all other family members. He will be missed immensely

by all of us.

Friends may call on Thursday, June 25, 2020 from 5 to7 pm at the Pistey Funeral Home, 2155 Main St., Stratford, CT. Due to the current health pandemic, all attendees must wear a face coverings and observe social distancing protocol. Burial shall be private for Family members only due to the Covid crisis.

A “Celebration of Life” (memorial) shall be held at a later date. To be announced.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either of the following:

Ukrainian Native Faith Church
PO Box 416
Spring Glen, NY 12483

Pay Pal @

The following is for an orphanage in Ukraine. Fosters reciprocal cultural awareness between children in Ukraine and United States.

By mail:
Social Development Institute, Inc. 501c (3)
2075 79th Street A4
Brooklyn, NY 11214

By Phone:

By email:

To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of John Swyrydenko, visit the Tribute Store.

Previous Events





5:00 PM 6/25/2020 5:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 6/25/2020 7:00:00 PM
Pistey Funeral Home

2155 Main Street
Stratford, CT 06615

Due to the current health pandemic, all attendees must wear a face covering and observe social distancing protocol. Based on State of CT public health guidelines regarding maximum occupancy of public spaces, no more than 40 people will be allowed in the building at any one time.

Pistey Funeral Home
2155 Main Street Stratford 06615 CT
United States

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