With deep sadness we announce the passing of our beloved cousin Zirka Maria Derlycia, on May 5th, 2020 at New York-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, New York.
Zirka was the daughter of Ostap and Anna (née Ilewych) Derlycia. She was born in Poznan, Poland on November 13th, 1942. In 1945, Zirka and her mother did not know the fate of her father and they fled to Germany and spent several years in various displaced persons’ camps until they arrived in America in 1952. They settled in New York City, where Zirka has lived her entire life.
Zirka attended the following schools:
St George’s Ukrainian Catholic School, June 1958.
Cathedral High School, June 1962.
Hunter College, Magna Cum Laude, June 1966.
New York University, MA 1969, PhD 1978 (Slavic Philology).
Indiana University, 1969-1970
Ukrainian Free University, Munich, Germany, 1969.
City College, 1962-1963.
Zirka taught Ukrainian at St. George’s School in New York from 1968 to 2017. She also taught at Manor Junior College in Jenkintown, PA, New York University, and Indiana University.
Singing was her passion. She was a lifelong member of St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church Choir until 2019. She performed in many Ukrainian community events, and notably gave song recitals in honor of the Bicentennial at two New York City landmarks, Federal Hall and Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace. For three years, Zirka was the soprano in an opera cabaret. She studied Musical Theatre with Helen Gallagher and Technique and Scene Study with Rochelle Oliver.
Her translation of Maxim Gorky’s “Children of the Sun” into English was performed at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky in 1989. In 1993 Audio-Forum published her “Everyday Ukrainian”, a self-teaching Ukrainian textbook.
Zirka is survived by dear friends, students, and her cousins in the Baczynsky, Borzemsky, Deputat, Hawryluk, Holuka, Jarymovych, Knahynycky, Nedilsky, and Zwil families.
May her memory be eternal, Vichnaya Pamyat!
Zirka will be interred at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery, 135 Davidson Ave., Somerset, NJ.
Donations in Zirka’s memory may be made to:
St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church, 30 E. 7th St., NY, NY 10003.
United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, 1206 Cottman Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19111.
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