Roman J. Petrina

November 22, 1947April 25, 2021
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Roman J. Petrina, 73, a longtime Yonkers resident, died on Sunday April 25, 2021 at Westchester Medical Center.

Without a doubt, Roman loved and cherished his children and family. His first born, Heather, was his only girl by his first wife Sally. She was his little girl, and at a very young age, a daddy’s girl.

Dad was obsessive with taking photos. He took numerous candid photos with his Nikon camera (that went to, and came back from, Vietnam). He recorded my sounds from the playpen, took care of me during the day as mom worked and he went to PA school at night. We played all sorts of board games, shared a love of history and family stories, especially our Ukrainian heritage; we were the Christmas tree decorators, the 70’s music group lovers, the dog lovers (Slava, his fish tank, then later the dogs I cared for-April, Kira and Sophie), the Snoopy lovers (with child -like playfulness) and we both had nature in our soul. Together we planted at his parents’ grave. Dad had a green thumb and loved to fix his plants just so. My personal highlight were the summers on Cape Cod. Magical sunsets. Walking on the beach. Shell collecting. We had water gun fights, nights in P-Town, and Dad would jump out of the car with his childhood friend Joe from Brooklyn to catch those blue fish. To his boys, Roman Jr. and Michael, from his second marriage to Beatrice, he was a hands-on father; a soccer dad at practice and games, one of the kids playing and splashing at Sprain Brook Pool, and the lead hiker who took them on long walks through Rockefeller State Park. Many summers were along the Delaware River, swimming, and canoeing. Some of our best times were grilling on the BBQ, shooting off fireworks or watching sunsets from the terrace. As we got older, family trips were great especially our first cruise to the Caribbean. Dad was always there for us no matter what we needed. He was always a person we leaned on in our most lost times. His wife Beatrice was with him almost every day while he was in the hospital; Roman was truly the love of my life. I will miss him with all my heart. I have so many wonderful memories of our life together. It is difficult to share them now, but later I will be able to share them with others. Roman was a sentimentalist about his family, starting with his beloved mother, Daria. Roman had the heart of his mother and the intelligence and dance moves of his father, whom he was named after. His sister and brother made up ‘The Brooklyn 3’; the little Ukrainian refugees off the boat in 1949, arriving at Ellis Island. Roman was a month shy of 2 years old and already he was lost! He wondered off on the docks later to be found sitting with cops, eating ice cream.

At home, his mom, dad, older sister Orysia (known as Zena) and older brother Bohdan spoke Ukrainian. On Sundays they walked their 8 blocks to church and after mass and stopped at the Italian bakery for breakfast. In the summer, all three were a part of the Ukrainian Scout Camps, where Ukrainian arts took center stage. The camp Parishioner remembers Roman as the one ‘always walking to his own music.’ Roman was a free spirit, who always did his own thing. His kids and wife might call that being stubborn. He would have said, ‘I was being me.’

His youthful summers were about swimming and canoeing in Lake George. In Brooklyn, he was the street kid, playing stick ball, and setting off firecrackers with his brother, his cousin George, and his loyal neighborhood buddies. The police knew him well too! He and his brother used the fire escape instead of the stairs. And when he got into trouble, his big brother was there protecting him. Their fire escape was an escape. On hot Brooklyn nights, Roman and his siblings slept on wet sheets, hoping to catch a breeze.

Roman was proud of his service in Vietnam. He was a medic, flying on helicopters, and this later lead him to his career as a Physician Assistant, a newer profession in the 1970’s. He was still a German citizen when he joined the Air Force, becoming a naturalized citizen of the US after his honorable discharge.

You could not separate Roman from water, fishing, the beach, or nature. He had many fishing partners, and later in life, Roman’s most enthusiastic fishing buddy Greg married into the family. The two of them talked fish, fished fish, fried fish, and ate fish. Then talked about fishing all over again.

He always made it a point to spend time with his nephew Jim and niece/goddaughter Daria when they visited from Florida. A City Island escape to grab the best fresh crab meat was the minimum he could do with Jim. Growing up Daria remembers Uncle Roman constantly playing Fleetwood Mac in the car; on 8 track, then cassette, then CD, so much so, that Daria is devoted to Fleetwood in digital musicland! With all of his nieces and nephews, he had a special bond, a great stories, and had a many a laugh.

So many words and thoughts come to mind when anyone thinks of dad - lover of nature and beauty; fisherman, hunter (but never killed a baby deer), his dear SLAVA -how he loved that dog!, photographer (yup-he took a hundred pictures of one object from every angle possible), the bread and butter man, stubborn, a free spirit, a good heart, amazing Ukrainian folk dancer (he danced at weddings and he may have stolen the show), a joker, a fish in water, a son, a brother, an uncle, a loyal friend, a husband, and a loving father. The feelings and descriptions are endless.

Roman leaves to cherish his loving memories: his wife, Beatrice: his daughter, Heather: his two sons, Roman Jr and Michael: his sister, Orysia of St. Petersburg, FL (Nephew Jim & Niece Daria): his brother, Bohdan and sister-in-law Dagmar of Yonkers, NY (Niece Tania, Nephews Stephen & Bo Jr.): three brother-in-laws: Milton of Flushing, NY; William of Charlotte, NC; and Alfred of Brooklyn, NY: his sister-in-law, Barbara of Charlotte, NC; a host of nephews and nieces: multiple grand - nieces and grand - nephews: and countless relatives and friends.

Visiting hours will be at Whalen & Ball Funeral Home on Monday 4-8pm. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home on Tuesday May 4th at 10am. Interment will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery.


  • Visitation

    Monday, May 3, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021

  • Interment

    Tuesday, May 4, 2021


Roman J. Petrina

have a memory or condolence to add?

Linda Bassi

May 5, 2021

I recall Roman as a young man beginning his career as a physician assistant. He was filled with enthusiasm for the future a new career and a new daughter. His devotion to Heather was ever present. He was always willing to lend a hand if you needed.He loved fishing and his Riviera. He was loved by his family and friends.

Beth Peterson

May 3, 2021

I’ve been friends with Heather for decades. My heart goes out to you, honey.

Bless all of the family with God’s Peace during this difficult and painful time.

I’m so deeply sorry for your loss.

Linda Gamble

May 3, 2021

I knew Roman for 39 years. Beatrice and I have been friends for over 50 years. I was maid of honor in their wedding. Roman will always be remembered as a caring, loving, respectful man. He always spoke of the love he had for Beatrice & his children. There will always be fond memories that I shared with Roman. I am honored to be called his friend. I will truly miss you. You will always be in my heart.
Love you forever.

Jennifer ( Hahn) Nichols

May 2, 2021

My deepest condolences ,
Uncle Roman was my God Father . He was one of my Dad ( Joe) best friends .
I will always cherish all the memories from my child hood . Vacations on the Cape , flying kites from P- town , salt water fishing , endless hours of fleetwood mac and stevie nicks ( who is still all my favorites ), trips to rockaway beach . So many wondeful memories
He even came to my wedding , when my own dad didn't and danced the father and daughter dance with me . Later on as i had my own almost adult children we all enjoyed target shooting !!
I will forever love him , and he will be greatly missed and alwaus cherishes !!
Thoughts ,prayers and hugs to all of his family !

MaryAnn Weber

April 30, 2021

I did not know Roman personally. I know his firs wife, Sally and his daughter Heather.

After reading this beautiful tribute by his daughter Heather, I feel I know him a little better/

His life and his loves.

What a wonderful tribute. Rest in peach Roman.

Al & MaryAnn Weber

Joya Prrna

April 30, 2021

The Petrina Family,

My sincere condolences for the loss of. Your husband,Father,and all that loved Roman. He was a lot of fun and had so much energy he was a good friend to my husband.They were both Vietnam Vets,who loved to talk about the war.

In loving memory, Joya

Sally Petrina

April 30, 2021

We had many memories and shared our daughter Heather together
Your love of her will be cherished by her for the rest of her life.
I’ll always remember our yearly Cape Cod vacations you were so excited seeing the fish jumping out of the waves.
Though our time together was short there were many exciting adventures
My condolences to Beatrice Roman Jr and Michael I know you will miss him dearly.

Teri Watkins

April 29, 2021

Beatrice, Roman Jr & Michael,

Please know that my entire family is thinking of you and all of your family at this time of your lives.
We love you and hope you know in your hearts that we are here for you if or when you need anything.

Teri, Ralph & family

Gregg Kober

April 29, 2021

Very sorry to hear about the passing of Roman. I will always remember the Ukrainian Christmas celebration that he hosted and the great joy he took in telling stories. My thoughts are with Heather and her family during this difficult transition.

Angela Armstrong

April 28, 2021

Dear Petrina Family:

My love, sympathy and prayers go to you all on the passing of your beloved Roman. He was such a nice man and was so good to us all. I’m so sorry for you Heather and for his sons and Beatrice and will keep you all in my prayers. May he rest in the loving arms of the Lord!