We have been saddened in recent weeks with the death of three of our beloved brethren: Sis. Esther Southwell, Sis. Maria Korchynsky and Bro. Bruce Gordon.
They were all dearly loved by their families and friends. While we will miss them greatly, we take comfort in the promise that they now rest in Christ awaiting the blessed hope of the resurrection. Last issue we reflected on the life of Sis. Esther Southwell (nee McMahon). This issue we remember Sr Maria Korchynsky (nee Kovacik) as told by her family.
“Maria Kovacik was born on the 19th December, 1925 in Zrenjanin Serbia, former Jugoslavia to Maria (originally from Slovakia) & Konrad (from Russia). Due to the First World War turmoil, her parents had fled from their respective countries and settled in Zrenjanin where there was greater opportunity for work. Maria was the only child to survive of five. She grew up there with her extended family, three aunties and an uncle. Life was hard growing up. She left school to help her family work in the sugar and corn fields. There was a church at the other end of her street which her grandmother had started attending and to which she took Maria, then around 13 years old. Maria felt at peace when she attended this church. It was called the Seventh Day Adventist Reform Movement church. She continued attending this church with her grandmother, and in time her mother and the rest of the aunties followed. She was baptized at about 16 years of age. As they didn’t have transport, she and her young church friends spent a lot of time walking while doing missionary work. Like many others in those days, as they tried to go to different towns doing missionary work they encountered difficulties with the authorities. But this did not deter them.
“In 1957 Maria made a difficult decision to leave everything and come to Australia for a better life. She left home for Austria, and while there she put in papers with the authorities to say she wasn’t returning home. She was kept in a camp until she was allowed to come to Australia. After traveling by ship for 3 months she arrived in Australia in January 1958. Here she discovered there were jobs for live-in house keepers. She soon found employment with a Polish/Jewish husband and wife in Elizabeth Bay. She enjoyed her new found life in Australia and ended up working for this family for five years. While there, she went looking for her church people and eventually found them worshipping at Summer Hill.
“She later met Lew Korchynsky, a Ukrainian man who had migrated to Australia for a better future. They married on the 20th November 1962, and built a house in Regents Park where they lived for the rest of their married life.
“On 14th January 1965 they had their only child—a daughter Anne.
“Maria was a stay-at-home mum until Anne started school. She then found a series of part-time jobs and later secured a full time job working at a handbag factory, where she made many close friends. She worked there till her retirement at the age of 67.
“On the 22nd July, 1990 her daughter married Ivan Ilic.
“Her husband Lew, after working for the State Rail for 44 years, retired in 1993 and they looked forward to retired life together. However, not long after, he began to suffer back pain. Within Four months he was diagnosed with cancer. He died 7 weeks later. This was a very difficult and hard experience for Maria to come to terms with. However, not long after this, Anne and Ivan told her she would be a grandmother. Then on the 25th February 1994 her first grand-child—a girl—was born (Lusinda). This event gave her a whole new outlook and happiness in life and kept her very busy. Her 2nd grandchild was born a boy (Luis Dillan) on the 23rd “April 1998. She was a very happy, helpful, and dedicated grandmother who did everything to make us happy.
“She enjoyed her home, her family, spending time with her grandchildren, gardening, cooking, trying out new recipes that Ivan had to test for her; reading; shopping; being independent and being faithful to the Lord. She was a helpful, considerate, hard working and quiet achiever.
“During November 2010 she cleaned her blinds and curtains by herself. Two days later she started to have back pain. The pain got worse over the next couple of days and eventually she was admitted to hospital. She grew weaker as time went by.
“On Friday 14th January 2011 Maria quietly went to sleep in Jesus.”