Jaroslaw Kaczmar was born in near Peremyshl, Ukraine. He grew up surrounded by a loving family. The Kaczmar-Mykyta families is where he directed his affections and care his entire life.
As a youth, he was popular and athletic. He often told stories of long walks with his father where they discussed the important issues of life.
At 16 years of age with the pressures of the rise of the German nation from one side, and the advancement of communist Russia from the other, he left home, never to see his parents again. Not long after leaving he contracted pneumonia and then subsequently tuberculosis in Germany.
While in the TB Sanitorium outside of Munich, he met his wife to be Paula Grunefeld, the social worker there.
A man of incredible drive and focus, while in the TB Hospital, he began his education. His studies led him to a Masters’ Degree in Political Economics. He was active as a student leader in several organizations, including Pax Romana, an international Catholic student organization. As a delegate of Pax Romana, he traveled throughout Europe.
Out of the hospital, he married Paula and lived at 2 Kufsteiner Platz in Munich where he continued to be active in the intellectual life of his community. Ukrainian family living in Germany at that time remember him as kind, affectionate and fun-loving.
Resilient, through the hardship he endured, he sought a better life for his family and emigrated to the United States, settling in Chester. Having a young family, he sacrificed the benefits of his education to support his family, working as a machinist at Sun Ship. At Sun Ship he was often called in to work, even after retirement, on the more complex projects. All the while, he remained active in his church, Holy Ghost Church in Chester, then Holy Myrrh Bearers in Swarthmore, and the Ukrainian community at large.
For all the challenges he faced, he always said that he felt the God had guided his steps. He would often say that God had directed his life, opening opportunities to him, as well as, saving him from harm.
He often worked two or three jobs to support the education of his children: Stephen, Peter, and Christine. He saw education as the key to a better life for his children. Stephen became an officer in the Marine Corps, Peter an educator, and Christine a university administrator.
Sometime after his wife Paula's passing, he moved to Lima Estates in Media. There he quickly developed a circle of friend who enjoyed his positive outlook and good humor. He lived out his days at Lima Estate, always upbeat and thankful.
His Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, January 3rd at 11am at Holy Myrrh-Bearer’s Ukrainian Catholic Church 900 Fairview Rd. Swarthmore, Pa 19081. Friends and family are invited to call from 10am-11am in church. Burial will follow in St. Thomas the Apostle Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to Holy Myrrh-Bearer's Ukrainian Catholic Church at 900 Fairview Rd. Swarthmore, PA 19081.