With profound sadness we announce the passing of Jaroslav Rozumnyj on December 8, 2013, at the age of 88 at home with members of his family at his side.
His memory will always be treasured by his wife and companion of fifty-one years Oksana (neé Hrycenko); daughter Larysa (Jamie) of Ottawa; sons Roman (Andrea) of North Vancouver, Istan of Kyiv and Ruslan (Demetro) of Vancouver; grandchildren Oleksander, Boyan, Yurdan and Ulyana; sisters-in-law Vera Hrycenko, and Zorianna Hrycenko-Luhova (Yurij, Artem and Adriana) of Montreal.
Jaroslav was predeceased by his parents Hryhorij and Anna (neé Parobucha), brother Ivan and sister Marijka.
Jaroslav Rozumnyj was born on September 6th, 1925 in Vychilky (now Honcharivka) near Ternopil, Western Ukraine where he completed his primary education. His high school education in Stanislaviv (now Ivano-Frankivs’k) was interrupted with the coming of the Soviet army in 1944 and like many of his compatriots, he fled to the West. As a displaced person, he finished his secondary education in Germany after the war. In 1950 he received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Theology from the Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, which he began in Hirschberg, Germany and completed in Culemborg, The Netherlands. After coming to Canada in 1951, he obtained his MA and PhD in Slavic Studies from the University of Ottawa.
His academic career was primarily connected with the University of Manitoba, where he taught for over thirty years. From 1976 to 1989, he was Head of the Department of Slavic Studies, where he reformed and expanded the department’s program to become the largest in North America.
His teaching career began at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, where he set up the Ukrainian and Russian program (1960-1963) and also met and married his wife, Oksana, before taking up a position at Western Michigan University. As a visiting professor, he lectured at the University of Ottawa, the Ukrainian Catholic University in Rome, the Ukrainian Free University in Munich and at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
After retiring from the University of Manitoba in 1995, he served as dean of the Faculty of Philosophy at the Ukrainian Free University in Munich, and was named an honorary professor at the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine. In the early nineties, he was fundamentally involved in the revival of this 17thcentury Academy. As a member of its International Advisory Board he served as its representative in Canada.
Jaroslav’s special field of interest was Ukrainian language and literature. He is best known for his publications on nineteenth and twentieth-century writers and the Ukrainian cultural experience in Canada. In the sixties through the eighties, he organized many literary readings for writers and scholars from Ukraine, the US and Canada.
In his final months of illness with cancer, he completed his book on the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada, currently in publication. He leaves unfinished, a collection of his essays on Taras Shevchenko, for the 200th anniversary of the poet’s birth.
He was recognized internationally and received numerous awards, including the Petro Mohyla Medal, the Taras Shevchenko Medal, the Order of the Eternal Flame in Silver, the University of Manitoba Outreach Award and was included in ‘Who’s Who in the World’.
In addition to his professional achievements, Jaroslav took a leading role in the community. He served on numerous boards and organizations, including as president of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada, the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Center, the Markian Shashkevych Center in Winnipeg, as board member of the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature, and chairman of the Winnipeg Harvard Project Committee. He was also involved in Plast Ukrainian Youth Association.
In the years leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Jaroslav played a pivotal role in the Canadian Friends of RUKH (Popular Movement for the Restructuring of Ukraine) and co-founded and chaired its Manitoba branch (1989-1992).
Jaroslav was a giving and thoughtful individual. He lived his life with integrity and purpose. His insights, support and advice were frequently sought by family and friends. He was a caring husband, an inspiring Tato and proud Dido. He was a principled individual who will be greatly missed.
Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Saturday December 14th at 9:00 am at Sts. Volodymyr and Ol’ha Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, 115 McGregor St, Winnipeg with Rt. Rev. Msgr. Mitrat M. Buyachok presiding. Interment will follow at All Saints Cemetery.
If so desired, donations in Jaroslav’s memory may be made to the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada, 235 McGregor St, Winnipeg, MB, R2W 4W5 or the Ukrainian Cultural and Educational Centre, 184 Alexander Ave East, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 0L6.
Вічна Йому Пам’ять