was born on May 2, 1942 to Damian and Fotyna Szewczyk Howansky in the village of Zdynia in the Lemko region of southeastern Poland. A defining moment in his life occurred when, during the summer of 1947, the Polish government forcibly relocated him and his family from their ancestral lands across the country, along with more than 140,000 members of the Ukrainian minority, during a resettlement campaign called Operation “Vistula” (Akcja “Wisla”) – a subject that brought tears to Steven’s eyes whenever he later discussed it in public. Steven eventually immigrated to the United States in the early 1960’s, but he never forgot his homeland or his Ukrainian roots, becoming a local leader within groups such as the Organization for the Defense of Lemkivshchyna, the Lemko Research Foundation, Inc., and the Ukrainian Lemko Museum in Stamford, CT. He devoted an enormous amount of energy organizing events such as dances, festivals, and Christmas caroling as fundraisers for these Ukrainian Lemko organizations.
Steven was also a supporter of the Ukrainian American Youth Association’s “Krylati” soccer teams, which he helped coach and manage at various stages. He was an avid sports fan, having also been a junior national champion in wrestling while in Poland. He particularly loved soccer, and his boisterous voice could be heard from the sidelines of practically any game he attended. He shared his love of sports with his children, who all played soccer, and never missed the chance to attend their matches whenever he could, even when it meant driving for hours a few times a week.
By trade, Steven was a mechanical engineer who received his bachelor’s degree from the City College of New York in the late 1970’s. So focused was Steven on his family that he chose to attend his son Mark’s kindergarten graduation rather than his own college graduation, held on the same day. A believer in education, Steven was proud when he returned to school later in life and obtained an executive MBA from the University of New Haven.
Steven Howansky, an active member of the Ukrainian-American community, passed away on Feb. 11 in Stamford, CT following a struggle with lung cancer. He was 70.