Ivanna nee Danylovych began her life in the town of Turka, Ukraine (then under Polish rule), on April 1, 1925. She was born into the family of Ivan Danylovych, an attorney and World War I veteran of the Ukrainian Galician Army, and Maria nee Lodynska Danylovych, a schoolteacher. She was also predeceased by her beloved younger sister, Alexandra (Lesia) nee Danylovych Kyzyk.
Ivanna attended elementary school in Turka with her sister, Lesia, and remembered hearing the devastating news of the outbreak of World War II at the tender age of 14. The family then began the perilous journey of wartime immigrants, fleeing their home, then returning, evading authoritarian warfronts and governments. The family struggled, as did everyone in Ukraine at the time, to maintain some normalcy during the invasions and retreats of Nazis and Soviets. Ivanna, nicknamed “Nochka,” attended high school in the city of Jaroslav, about three hours north of Turka by train. As a boarding student, she paid her rent with sticks of contraband butter, and completed her studies in the early 1940’s. In 1942, Ivanna enrolled in the University of Lviv Faculty of Medicine, where she met Taras, a classmate and her future husband. A year of courtship ensued; however, with the approach of the war front, Ivanna’s family was forced to flee west again, this time stopping in Bratislava, Slovakia, for a period of time. It was there that Taras and Ivanna married at St. Nicholas Church on the hill, on October 8, 1944, following an Allied bombing raid. Ivanna’s sister, Lesia, was her maid of honour, and one of a handful of relatives in attendance.
The end of WWII brought great relief, and settlement in the Regensburg, Germany, United Nations Relief Association Displaced Persons Camp. Religious persecution and human rights abuses in the new communist Soviet regime dashed the couple’s hope of returning to Ukraine. Five years of life in the refugee camps was difficult, yet productive. Ivanna’s extended family was thankfully together, and Taras was able to finish his medical studies by commuting to the University of Erlangen, Germany.
In 1950 the young family emigrated to the United States. The family lived in New Haven, Connecticut, before settling in Pawtucket, and then North Providence, Rhode Island. Taras completed his residency at Chapin Hospital in Providence, before joining the staffs of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, and Our Lady of Fatima Hospitals. He also opened a private practice on Francis Street in downtown Providence. Throughout this time of transition, the couple’s four children were born, and Ivanna devoted her love, time, and tireless efforts to their upbringing.
During this period, Ivanna was a devoted mother, raising and educating their four children, and supporting her husband in his medical office. She immediately enrolled in evening courses, finally graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (with honors) in history from University of Rhode Island in the 1980’s. She excelled in recognizing her children’s and grandchildren’s individual talents and nurtured their further development. Ivanna organized the St. Michael’s School of Ukrainian Studies in Woonsocket, RI, based in the church hall, ca. 1966-1977. Annual St. Nicholas and Shevchenko pageants were full school productions, coordinated by Pani Ivanka, as she was affectionately called in the community. During this period, she founded and organized the student Ukrainian Dance Troupe, which held performances across the state. Ivanna was a researcher and contributor to the Ukrainians in Rhode Island heritage publication (ca. 1977), for which she received a commendation from Rhode Island’s Lieutenant Governor. She was an active member and leader in the Women’s League of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Woonsocket for over 40 years. At the same time, Ivanna assisted her husband Taras in his medical practice as an office administrator in Providence, and later, North Providence (1974 – 1991). She also worked as a librarian at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, and took on a full-time position there after Taras’ retirement. In her later years, Ivanna volunteered at North Providence Public Library, RI Meals on Wheels, and Our Lady of Fatima Hospital in Rhode Island.
Hospital visits to sick community members and daily mass were part of her weekly routine. She devoted many hours to other community volunteering, such as Ukrainian language tutoring and church organizations, besides maintaining a very warm and hospitable home. With the influx of immigrants from newly-independent Ukraine in the 1990’s, Ivanna was constantly assisting families with translation and adaptation to their new country. Whenever students of Ukrainian descent arrived at one of the Rhode Island colleges, Ivanna would go out of her way to host them and make them feel at home. She did this with enthusiasm and good humour.
Ivanna was a very affectionate and actively involved mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother, or “Bunia,” to Ines, Janko, Stefko, Myko, Daniel, Roman, Marichka, Kalyna, Ivanka, Julia, and Alexander. After her husband Taras’ death twenty years ago, Ivanna was blessed with great-grandchildren Xaver, Sofia, Mira, Nikolai, Yuri, Marta, Henry, and Elliott.
Ivanna Hanushevsky was a woman of profound faith, intelligence, and loyalty to her family and community. She was exemplary in her desire to help others in any way that she could. She and her family truly appreciated the kindness, hard work, and loving care of the staff of St. Antoine’s Villa, and more recently, St. Antoine’s Residence in North Smithfield, Rhode Island, where she resided since 2015.
May God bless and reward her lifelong efforts in building His Kingdom here, among us. May her memory be eternal -- Vichnaya pamiat’.
Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m., at St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 394 Blackstone St., Woonsocket, Rhode Island. Sung Byzantine Rite prayer service for the dead (Parastas) 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Street parking is very limited. Please access lot at St. Michael's Ukrainian Orthodox Church, near the corner of Blackstone and Harris Ave., for additional parking.
Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, 11 a.m. Byzantine Rite funeral service at St. Andrew's Ukrainian Catholic Church, located at Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Cemetery, 141 Sarah Wells Trail, Campbell Hall, NY 10916. Tel.: 845-496-5506.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Ivanna Hanushevsky's memory to the following:
The Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, University of St. Michael's College at University of Toronto (please see website for U.S. and Canadian donor information and charitable receipts)
St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church, 394 Blackstone St., Woonsocket, RI 02895