Ksenia Pecylak of Hastings passed away on Feb. 4 at age 99. Ksenia was a beloved baba (grandmother), mother, great-grandmother, and wife, who touched the lives of those who knew her.
Ksenia lived through wars, loss, and battles, but never lost her smile or the love in her heart. She was the life of the room, with her clever humor and a heart overflowing with love. Her love for her family and her faith were central to her life. She was a proud Ukrainian Catholic, and loved helping her church, attending masses and participating in church functions.
Ksenia will be remembered for her loving nature, generosity, playfulness, and endearing stubbornness. As a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, she was everything her children and grandchildren could dream of, always cooking delicious meals and greeting her loved ones with open arms. She taught her family what it meant to be a mother, grandmother, and wife, and was a role model to all.
Ksenia was born on July 13, 1923, to Maria Worobel and Andrew Seredinsky in Odrechowa, Sanok, Poland (Lemko Region). She was predeceased by six siblings, with her brother John and sister Anna living in Hastings at the time of their passing as well as her siblings, Steve, Katie, Maria, and Helen, all from Ukraine.
During World War II, Ksenia was taken as a slave laborer by the Germans to work on a farm near Salzburg, Austria. After the American troops liberated the survivors, she was taken to Hellbrunn Displaced Persons Camp in Salzburg, where she met her husband John, who was also brought there by American soldiers and was assigned to supervise the barracks.
Ksenia and John married in Salzburg on October 7, 1945 and, after five years in Austria, they embarked on the SS Marine Flasher ship across the Atlantic and settled in Hastings to live with her uncle, Steve Seredensky, who sponsored them. Ksenia lived in Hastings for over 75 years and worked at the Anaconda factory for 9 1/2 years until it closed.
Ksenia was a parishioner of St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yonkers and was involved in Ukrainian organizations, including the Hastings Ukrainian Club, the Organization for Defense of Lemkivschyna, SUMA, St. Ann's Society, and Golden Agers.
Ksenia is survived by her daughters, Irene Pecylak Hess and Maryann Pirozek. Irene has two children, Gary John Moretti (fiancé Deanna Mifsud) and Danielle Moretti. Maryann has three children, Natalka (Chris) Citro, Nicholas Pirozek, and Christina Pirozek. Ksenia's son, Steve Pecylak (Lorraine), preceded her in 2007, leaving behind his children David (Jamie) Pecylak and Andrea Pecylak (fiancé Matt Deleskiewicz), and her great-grandchildren, Matthew, Michael, and Marcus.
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