Whalen & Ball Funeral Home

168 Park Ave, Yonkers, NY


Yevgen Petrovych Sikyrynskyi (Yakiv Chornyy)

2 September , 19285 September , 2019

Yevgen Petrovych Sikyrynskyi, also known as Yakiv Chornyy.

He was born in Lyka Veluka, Ukraine on August 28th, 1928. His birthday happens to fall on a special religious holiday – the dormition of the Mother of God. Yevgen grew up next door to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic church in Ukraine. His father, Petro, was a deacon in this church. He was raised in a religious and patriotic atmosphere. In 1941, the NKVD (communist secret police known as KGB) took his father and tortured him in prison by removing his eyes while he was alive – leading to his death. Yevgen’s father lost his life because he was fighting for the independence of Ukraine. As a young teenage boy, Yevgen was left alone with his younger sister and mother to survive. Yevgen grew up as a child during World War II. When the Eastern Front was moving, he and his family were forced to relocate multiple times. In 1945, he attended the College of Culture and Education in the town of Terebovlya. After two years, he graduated and was accepted into the Librarian Institute in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Due to Russification in Kharkiv, Yevgen was disappointed and immediately returned back home to Lyka Veluka. He was accepted into the Teacher’s Institute in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and studied Philology. In 1948, Yevgen met his soulmate, Danusya, at the Teacher’s Institute where they studied. After graduating in 1949, he started his career as a teacher of Ukrainian language and literature in Ivano-Frankivska region. Shortly after, Yevgen was drafted into the Soviet Army where he was stationed in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, for three and a half years. After fulfilling his mandatory military obligation, he was discharged in 1953. On January 1st, 1954, he resumed his career as a high school teacher in Terebovlya, Ukraine. Danusya, his future wife, was working nearby in Ostrivetc at the time, so they were able to keep in touch. On Pentecost in 1955, Yevgen and Danusya got married in church late at night to hide from the communists. Two years later on May 17th, they had their first child – Lesya. Yevgen was extremely proud of Lesya; she was an incredibly talented and intelligent young lady. On October 17th, 1966, his second daughter, Liliya, was born. In 1970, Yevgen and Danusya began to build their own house from scratch. On December 8th, 1975 Lesya died at the age of 18 due to acute leukemia. This unexpected tragedy left a deep wound for both parents. Yevgen’s passion was teaching – he worked over 40 years in this profession. He was an honored teacher of the Soviet Union; at that time, this title was very prestigious. Yevgen’s students always respected him and looked up to him. Every high school reunion, he was invited as an honored guest. At the age of 68, he immigrated to the United States with Liliya – leaving Danusya behind in Ukraine. Switching from his sleek business suit to dirty jeans and Timberland boots, he started to work for construction, painting and boiler companies in Manhattan. In addition, Yevgen did not give up his career – he taught Ukrainian language, geography and literature every Saturday in the School of Ukrainian Studies in Yonkers, NY. On August 15th, 1997, his one and only granddaughter, Roksolana (Rosynka) was born. Yevgen raised Rosynka as his own daughter while Liliya was working and studying to become a Physician’s Assistant. Without his moral and financial support, we would not be where we are today. Besides his two main jobs, Yevgen was an active parishioner of St. Michael’s Church in Yonkers, NY – singing in the choir every Sunday. Although he was in the U.S., he still kept a close connection with his homeland by attending various meetings, protests, reading Ukrainian newspapers and watching Ukrainian news. Yevgen was also a frequent flyer – he traveled back and forth to Ukraine every summer until 2017. Yevgen also had many hobbies. He enjoyed to swim, read, sing and learn about American history. In fact, he passed the U.S. citizenship exam on March 14th, 2016. Yevgen was also very artistic and creative; he enjoyed crafting unique cards, icons and collages. For every special occasion, he personalized heartfelt Ukrainian poems and songs. In addition, Yevgen was an easy-going, helpful, independent, and curious individual. He was a true gentleman – holding doors, kissing hands, and bowing down to others. He also had a great sense of humor; he liked to crack jokes and tell famous Ukrainian anecdotes. Moreover, Mr. Sikyrynskyi had a passion for nature and gardening; in Ukraine, he had an enormous garden with gorgeous Kalyna (viburnum) trees, vibrant flowers, fruits and vegetables. Two years ago, Yevgen started his vigorous battle with cancer. Despite his energy draining chemotherapy sessions, Yevgen remained active and continued his daily routine. He had a positive attitude and never gave up – Yevgen had a strong will to live! He fought so hard that he was able to make it to Rosynka’s college graduation in Boston, Massachusetts. Yevgen was also able to celebrate Rosynka’s 22nd birthday and his 91st birthday this past August. One of his last memories outside of the hospital was in Wildwood, NJ for Ukrainian week. Yevgen Petrovych Sikyrynskyi passed away on Thursday, September 5th, 2019 at 8:55AM at New York Presbyterian Hospital. The day before his death, he still had faith in God and said his final prayers. Yevgen will be dearly missed by his family, friends and students. Visiting hours will be at Whalen & Ball Funeral Home on Sunday 12-2pm and 7-9pm. Pannakhyda Service 7:30pm. Funeral service will be at St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church on Monday September 9th at 10am. Interment will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Whalen & Ball Funeral Home 168 Park Ave. Yonkers, N.Y. 10703 (914)965-5488 www.whalenandballfh.com


  • Visitation Sunday, 8 September , 2019
  • Visitation Sunday, 8 September , 2019
  • Pannakhyda Service Sunday, 8 September , 2019
  • Mass Monday, 9 September , 2019
  • Interment Monday, 9 September , 2019


Yevgen Petrovych Sikyrynskyi (Yakiv Chornyy)

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tatiana Ortiz

8 September 2019

Rest In Peace.

An amazing grandpa and a kind soul who always made others laugh.

The last moment he shared with me was on my birthday. He sang me Happy Birthday in Ukranian. I will never forget that moment.

I know heaven is a beautiful place because they’ve got you.

Roksolana Sikyrynska

7 September 2019

Emme Kresek

7 September 2019

I feel so fortunate to have known your extraordinary father and grandfather from school, music camp and piano lessons... we always had hot tea, he listened intently to every lesson, and he absolutely insisted on escorting me to my car, pointing out this or that flower as we walked, sharing Ukrainian plant names with me.
He was truly the quintessential gentleman and I'm so sorry for your loss. I share it.