Ukrainian Village's Chychula family loses John at age 61

Date: 
06/26/2015
JohnChychula

John and Anna Chychula

John Chychula, 61, who grew up in the Ukrainian Village then moved to Palatine, IL, in 1995, is described as a "gentle giant," loving, jovial, even-tempered, smart and talented, with a good sense of humor. He lost a long hard fought battle against multiple health challenges on Tues., June 23. 

John's wife Anna, former Administrator of the Ukrainian National Museum, describes him as, "having a heart of gold, an infectious laugh and a generosity of spirit, always with a 'twinkle in his eyes.' He was the kind of man you always wanted on your side." 

"The middle child in a family of three, John attended St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic School, St. Ignatius and the University of Illinois at Chicago," said Lydia Tkaczuk, President, Ukrainian National Museum. "His mother Valeria was an incredible and creative cook and baker. His father Stefan was very active in church and in choirs and documented/wrote the Ukrainian church music that is sung in Ukrainian churches for choirs and special masses." 

"John was an active member of Plast (Ukrainian Scouting), serving as a youth counselor and in leadership for their summer camps. As a young man and adult he performed (acting, singing and dancing) in Ukrainian Theater productions with the Young Artists Studio at Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church," explains Anna. 

"He was also part of the Ukrainian American Police Association and traveled with them to Ukraine in 1994. He was part of a delegation that included Police Officers, Military and State government representatives. At the time John was in Drivers Services with the Illinois Secretary of State's office (the job from which he retired).

"He had an appreciation for culinary arts and for music. He was a great cook and would make some of his mothers specialties for me and the girls. He played the guitar and Bandura and had a beautiful voice." 

Anna's attraction of John started when she was 16. "I had a huge crush on him, but he wasn't necessarily interested in me since I was much younger. Once I began college and we started dating, he would serenade me, literally, playing his guitar and singing. Who could possibly resist that charming soul?" 

They have twin daughters Ivana and Olena, who are high school students in Palatine. Other family members are: brother  Andrij (Andy), sister Maria and sister-in-law Dawn Chychula. He is brother-in-law of Sophia (the late Norm) Hoppe, Petro (Olga) Dudycz, Bohdan (Genia) Dudycz, Walter (Oksana) Dudycz and Katherine (Ihor) Hrynewycz. He is uncle to Adriana & Christina Chychula and 11 other nieces and nephews and great-uncle to 20 great-nieces and great-nephews. 

Visitation will be Sun., June 28 between 3 and 8 p.m. at Muzyka Funeral Home, 2157 W. Chicago Ave., with a Panachyda (prayer service) at 5 p.m. The funeral is Mon., June 29 at 10 a.m. from Muzyka Funeral Home to Sts. Volodymyr & Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church for a 10:30 a.m. funeral service. Interment St. Nicholas Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations to the family would be appreciated.

Please leave your thoughts and tributes below.

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