Martha Chisdak, 97, of Moosic, entered into eternal rest on Friday morning at Geisinger Community Medical Center. She is survived by her beloved husband, Stephen and together they have celebrated 63 years of marriage.
Born in 1921 in Kivshovata, Ukraine, a small impoverished village, she was the daughter of the late Timothy and Alexandra Tokar. Her family was forced to endure the collectivization of their meager farm as Russian communism was imposed upon the annexed Ukraine. Later her family struggled to survive the Holodomor, a deliberately imposed famine instrumented by Joseph Stalin in the 1930’s intended to break the will of the Ukrainian people. Through her parents, Martha and her sisters learned how to survive off the land. Lessons that influenced the rest of her life.
In 1941 at the beginning of WWII, she was taken from her family by the invading Nazis. In Germany she was forced into slave labor to support the war effort. Her surviving sister was sent to occupied France.
After the war she lived in Germany for four additional years, unable to return to her parents in the Ukraine which was now formally part of the USSR. She eventually followed one of her cousins to this country and settled in Scranton where she joined a large Ukrainian Community. It was there she met Stephen, the love of her life. She was welcomed as a member of St. Michaels Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
She worked as a short order cook at Preno’s Italian Restaurant in Scranton and later at Mario’s in Elmhurst.
In her retirement she loved listening to music, traveling with Stephen, spending time with her grandchildren, and especially tending to her garden where she tried to perpetuate plants and flowers that would preserve her homeland memories.
The Chisdak family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the staff of Oakwood Terrace for their care, understanding and support the past 16 months.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Michael and his wife, Arlene, Vestal, NY; five granddaughters, Meagan and Erin Chisdak; Lauren Moody, Michelle and Nicole Chisdak, and a great-grandson Blaze Moody.
Twin infant daughters, Martha and Alexandra and two sisters, Tania Tokar and Anna Kobral preceded her in death.
Family and friends are invited to attend Martha’s funeral which will be held on Wednesday at 11 am in St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, N. Main & Howell Street, Scranton by the Rev. Philip Harendza. Interment will follow in the parish cemetery. Friends may call Wednesday from 10 until 11 at the church.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church.