Anthony Szyjka fell asleep in the Lord peacefully at home with his family at his side, on December 31, 2012, five days before his 102nd birthday. Mr. Szyjka is survived by his wife of 65 years, Justyna (Zorij) Szyjka, his three daughters, Marasha Huber of Waterbury Center, Vermont; Olya Maria Szyjka of Amsterdam, New York; Xrystya Anna Szyjka of Chatham, New York; friend Scott C. Maloney, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews in Ukraine.
He was predeceased by three brothers and two sisters all in Ukraine.
Mr. Szyjka was born January 6, 1911 in Hodyni, Ukraine. He survived two wars, being drafted into the Polish army during the Polish German conflict and then drafted again into the Russian army during the Second World War. He was captured by the Germans as a prisoner of war and then placed in a concentration camp.
After being liberated by the U.S., he was in a displaced persons camp where he met his future wife, also a displaced person, and they were married in Germany. They emigrated as war refugees to the US with their first-born in 1950, settling in Amsterdam, New York where Mr. Szyjka worked for Sanford Carpet Mills, Mohawk Carpets, as a carpenter, and Amsterdam Dispatch.
Mr. Szyjka was an active and respected member of the Ukrainian community, a member of the Ukrainian National Association, the Ukrainian American Citizens Club, and member and trustee of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church where he attended mass every Sunday with his family until the last two months of his life.
Mr. Szyjka was always engaged by the world around him. He loved discussing Ukrainian politics, and his many interests included carpentry, organic gardening, reading and Ukrainian poetry, often reciting his beloved poems by heart until the last few days of his life.
His community was very important to him as was his Ukrainian nationalism, his faith, education and knowledge, all of which he instilled in his children. He taught them to respect the natural world, remember their Ukrainian heritage, and always to learn from everything around them. He was a respected elder in the community, a devoted family man, and a loyal and wise friend.
Anthony Szyjla was a great man who had a very kind heart and always wished the best for everyone. His family loves him forever and will miss him very much.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to Dr. Peter Diamond and team at Amsterdam Family Practice, Dr. Adam Snider and team at Schenectady Cardiology Associates, Dr. David Kwiat and team at Kwiat Eye, and Amsterdam GAVAC.
The funeral will be held at 9:00 a.m. Thursday, January 3, 2013 at the Jendrzejczak Funeral Home, 200 Church Street, Amsterdam, New York 12010 and at 9:30 a.m. at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church. Interment will follow at St. Nicholas Cemetery. The family will receive relatives and friends from 4 - 7 p.m.Wednesday, January 2, 2013 with Panachyda service at 6:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Anthony Szyjka's memory to St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, Amsterdam, New York.