March 23, 1929 – August 22, 2019
Maria Drobenko (nee Kondryszyn), 90, of Astoria, New York, entered into eternal peace on August 22nd, 2019. She was born to Maria and Jan Kondryszyn in the village of Zapalow, county Jaroslaw, Poland on March 23rd, 1929. Maria married John, the love of her life, on October 2, 1949 and thereafter they had five sons together. Maria and John were married for 65 years before his passing in 2014.
One of Maria’s fondest memories that she would frequently tell her grandchildren was the story of how she came to know her beloved husband John. She would always recall one particular morning as a little girl when her entire village was making the trek to their local church on Easter Sunday. Maria remembered skipping blissfully across the road, sometimes veering off course to stop and pick a flower that caught her eye, and subsequently lagging behind the rest of the group. An older boy named John who was also from the same village and making the trip, grabbed her hand in order to ensure that she wouldn’t fall too far behind or possibly lose her way, a small gesture that would never leave her heart, or his. Their friendship grew as the years went by but on January 21, 1943, John was unfortunately arrested by the Gestapo and was sent to the concentration camps at Auschwitz and then Buchenwald in Germany. After years of immensely hard labor and dreadful living conditions, John returned home to his village following the culmination of the Second World War. Upon his arrival, he saw that the once little girl who he had helped on his way to church that Easter morning had blossomed into a beautiful, hard-working young woman. At that moment he knew that he need not look any further, as the woman who he was going to spend the rest of his life with was nestled, waiting in his home village for him the whole time.
Maria’s passion for cooking and her culinary skills led her to operate the kitchen as head chef for Leshko’s Restaurant in the East Village, one of multiple family businesses. She took on two, sometimes three jobs when necessary, working as a cleaning lady overnight at the Met Life building and then somehow mustering the energy to have the entire kitchen prepped and ready for 5am on a few hours sleep. She is the epitome of the ‘American Dream,’ a prime example of what can manifest from hard work, sacrifice and perseverance, despite opposing circumstances. She bestowed diligence and dedication upon her children and grandchildren, showing them that if there is a will then there almost certainly is a way. She did whatever she feasibly could to give her family a better life, or at least the opportunity at a more fruitful livelihood, and she greatly exceeded those expectations. After hanging up her apron post retirement, she found great happiness in spending time with her many grandchildren and great-grand child, gardening, and cooking for the entire family, irregardless if it was an ordinary Tuesday night or for a special holiday occasion. Maria was a beautiful, thoughtful and immensely kind woman who went out of her way to help others, even if it was at an inconvenience to her. She will forever hold a special place in the hearts of her family and will be missed dearly by all who knew her.
Maria is survived by her sons, John (wife Maria), Jaroslaw (wife Leeza), Nick (wife Maria), Bohdan (wife Maria), Walter (wife Larissa); Grandchildren, John Michael (wife Viorica), Marusia, Peter (wife Larysa), Kristina, Marc, Adrian, Michael, Zachary, Andrew, Zane and Zoe. Maria was exceedingly proud to be the great-grandmother (Baba Baba) to Nicholas. She will also be fondly remembered by her extended family. Maria is preceded in death by her husband John, parents Maria and Jan and brothers Ivan, Vasyl and Stefan.
Visitation will be held from 3-5pm and 7-9pm, with Parastas at 7:30pm on Wednesday August 28th at Thomas M. Quinn Funeral Home, 41-45 58th Street, Woodside, NY. The funeral service will be held at 9:30 am on Thursday August 29, 2019, at Holy Cross Ukrainian Catholic Church. Burial will follow the funeral at Holy Spirit Cemetery in Campbell Hall, NY. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Thomas M. Quinn Funeral Home.
- Reposing Wednesday, August 28, 2019
- Reposing Wednesday, August 28, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, August 29, 2019
- Laid to Rest Thursday, August 29, 2019