Tuesday, April 5, 2016


My Ukrainian grandfather, Jaroslav Chmilewskyj (or Chmilewsky) died in 1965. A Renaissance man, he was a physician, artist, community leader, painter, archeologist, supporter of the arts, and many other things. I have few memories of him; I recall watching him shave in the little bathroom just outside the kitchen of his Baltimore row house, and that is about it. I know I was intimidated by him, awed. We must have been already in Hawaii when he passed, because I don't see any pictures of my mother among the mourners, and surely she would have been there had she been able to. He was sixty-nine and died of a heart attack. He was senior staff doctor at Henryton State Hospital (originally a tuberculosis hospital, but then a mental hospital). He had just retired. Here are some pictures from his funeral. I know almost no one in these shots, and hope my aunt can supply names at a later date.

My stepgrandmother Joanna Gissowska Chmilewskyj (who I called Babcia) is holding the purse and wearing the pillbox, and my Aunt Marijka has the black-lined veil across her face.

Don't know if this was a pre-funeral coffee, or a gathering afterwards.

His grave at St. Michael's Ukrainian Cemetery. Babcia is visiting. These two shots appear to have been taken a year later.

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