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Zen Sawchuk of Kerhonkson, NY, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, surrounded by his loving family. He was 95 years old.
Zen was born on September 17, 1925 in Tseniv, Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine; he was the son of Petro and Karolyna (Budzienowska) Sawczuk. He was educated at the “Gymnaziya” in Berezhany, Ukraine, and served Ukraine’s freedom during World War II prior to becoming a Displaced Person and political refugee in post-war Germany.
He was a talented musician, and prior to immigrating to the United States, Zen played in a USO band in the post war years.
Zen arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on May 5, 1949 and joined his parents in New York City. He worked in the executive kitchen of Guarantee Trust on Wall Street until being drafted into the United States Army in 1951. He proudly served in Korea and the Reserves until 1957 when he was honorably discharged.
After returning to New York, Zen met and married his loving wife, Olga. He worked at JP Morgan until moving to Kerhonkson in 1962 where he and Olga became the proprietors of the Log Cabin Restaurant. Known for his authentic Ukrainian food and friendly demeanor, for 43 years Zen welcomed his customers with a smile.
With his orchestra, Amor, Zen entertained thousands over the years at Ukrainian weddings and zabavas (dances) in the US.
Zen was actively involved in the local Kerhonkson community, both Ukrainian and American. He was a member of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Ukrainian National Association, Lions Club, Ukrainian American Veterans (UAV), and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). He was generous with his time and could always be counted on for a food donation, and was frequently called upon to interpret for the local hospital, police, and court.
Zen loved: jazz; soccer; a bet on Lotto, the trotters and at the casinos; Florida vacations; Cadillacs; both of his countries and spending time with family and friends. He was a great supporter of the Olympics and Special Olympics. Zen was a patriot and man of duty through and through.
Zen was known and adored for his great sense of humor and the way he treated everyone with respect, regardless of background. He was a loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle and godfather.
Zen was predeceased by his older sister Kornelia, his younger sister Orysia, his older brother Bohdan, niece Shanya, and nephew Boris.
He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Olga Sawchuk; their daughters, Roxolana Sawchuk (Driss Zoukhri) and Natalka Sawchuk (Chris Blay); granddaughters, Julia and Isis; nieces Christina Shmigel (Patrick Moreton), Christina Lonkewycz, Dana Lenec, Alexandra Dutka and Christina Synyshyn; nephew Peter Shmigel (Suzanne Houweling); grandnieces Arianna, Alana, and Pixie; grandnephews Nicholas and Tim, and their families.
Visiting hours will be held on Friday, May 7th from 4:30 to 7:00 pm at Humiston Funeral Home, Kerhonkson. The Panakhyda will begin at 6:00 pm that evening. The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Saturday, May 8th at 10 am at Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, Kerhonkson. Burial at Pine Bush Cemetery, Kerhonkson.
The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to neighbors Valentyna Melnyk and Ruslana Henza, and gratefully acknowledges the extraordinary care that Zen received from the compassionate staff at Hudson Valley Hospice in the last weeks of his life.
Memorial contributions may be made in Zen’s name to Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church, 211 Foordmore Rd., Kerhonkson, NY 12446 and/or the Special Olympics (https://www.specialolympics.org/).
You were a beautiful & kind soul, Dear Zen -I hold fond memories of you & Olga -You were my dear neighbors while growing up near your Log Cabin restaurant. My condolences to your family . Love Heidi
Heidi Verna Thorbjrnsen May 17 2021 12:00 AM
Knowing a true loss, in Zen's passing.
Finding balance in the reservoir of joyful memories, that are washing over.
Deepest sympathies for Pani Olga, Roxolana, Natalka, and family.
Daniel Pilkington May 8 2021 12:00 AM
Deepest condolences to you and all your family for the loss of Mr Zen. A piece of my childhood is gone but the love and memories are forever in my heart. Although we cannot be there in person we are with you in spirit and mourning. I can see him sitting at the back corner of the bar, smiling and joking with my brother Brian, calling out greetings to everyone who walked in. The world lost a great man this week but I know he is with the Lord God. We should all take comfort in that
Margaret Pilkington Dodson May 8 2021 12:00 AM
On behalf of the entire Boston University Metropolitan College community, I offer heartfelt condolences to you and your family. We are very sorry for the loss of your beloved father, Zen. We did not have the privilege to know him, but we work with you every day. And after reading about Zens life, I believe his spirit continues to live in you. Our thoughts are with you, your mother Olga, and your entire family during this difficult time.
Tanya Zlateva, Dean, Boston University Metropolitan College May 8 2021 12:00 AM
Dear Olga and Family, Our thoughts, Prayers, and Deepest Sympathy are with you.
The Poppel Family May 7 2021 12:00 AM
Dear Pani Olga, Roxolana and Natalka. We are very sorry for your loss. Please accept our deepest condolences. Pan Zen was a wonderful and kind man. So many fond memories of times spent at the Log Cabin. Love Kira and David.
Kira eck and David Krom May 7 2021 12:00 AM
Many years were spent dancing and dining at the log cabin. Wonderful food and a great host. Zen was a very nice man.
Ruby cyr May 6 2021 12:00 AM
So sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to Olga and family. So many heartwarming memories created at the Log Cabin!
Jay Feinberg May 6 2021 12:00 AM
Our deepest condolences to Ms. Olga and family....we will miss him dearly..I. loved him for being the Best Listener Ever..we had so very many wonderful times at our second home ( The Log Cabin ) Now we have wonderful memories of are days hanging out with Zen...he was a sweet dear man and he will be forever missed. We Love You, Zen, Diana Gass and Debbie Bilyeu.
Diana Gass May 6 2021 12:00 AM
Lots of great memories with Zen at the Log Cabin. He was a special person. Will be missed. Rest In Peace. Kim Mcconnell.
Kim May 5 2021 12:00 AM