January 13, 1946 - October 6, 2020
The world lost a beloved mother, Tatyana (Tanya) Kovalchuk, who passed on October 6, 2020. Tatyana battled cancer, but it never stopped her from continuing to give the best care to everyone who touched her life. Momma died in her home, surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her husband of over fifty years, Peter, daughters Lillian (Clayton) and Ena (Brian), by her older sister Aida (Issak), beloved grandchildren Michael, Darlene, Danik and “Baby Sasha,” great grandson Silas, and nieces, nephews and cousins, Vadim, Rita, Valery, Lyuda, Tolik, Michael and Ilya. Our precious mother, Tatyana, was born in Karlovka, Ukraine, on January 13, 1946, the daughter of Hanan Zlatin, a prosperous, ethnic Ukrainian CEO of cement plant in Khmelnitsky, and her mother Ztilya Freedman, a great teacher of German language and literature. When Tatyana was twenty, she married Peter Kovalchuk. Tatyana devoted her life to her children while holding a full-time job as assisting the military in construction of missile silos and housing during the height of the Cold War and later days. She was greatly respected for her insight, knowledge and problem-solving skills. Others would turn to her first for answers, bypassing the military chain of command, as we are only now just learning as tributes pour in from people who knew and loved her in Ukraine, people she has not seen or spoken to in almost 25 years. Although social media posts were not made announcing her death, based on a few emails to friends, within 24 hours tributes, condolences and stories have started pouring in to her children from around the world, as people whose lives she touched learned of her death, especially people in Ukraine. This is the impact she had on the lives of her Ukrainian comrades. After her time working for the military, she started up her own business. Her colleagues knew her as a kind soul always willing to help, “прекрасный светлый человек,” a wonderful bright person. Although Tanya and Peter were well off in Ukraine, with their own business, she was precluded from practicing her religion in the former Soviet Union. Because of her Jewish identity, and her desire to make a better life for her daughters in getting a better education and having a better future in the US, she and family decided to emigrate to the United States over twenty years ago, leaving most of their material wealth and possessions behind, for a better life in America. Once arriving, she sacrificed her own life to support Ena’s education, and to help care for Lillian’s young children while she worked. For her entire life, Tanya had the uncanny ability to make friends with everyone she met. From the first time she met someone new she listened, made a connection, a new friendship was made, many so strong that notwithstanding a twenty-five-year absence, friends from around the world are emailing their love and condolences. Tanya was an amazing cook, cooking multicourse Ukrainian, Polish, Jewish, and other authentic meals. She always wanted to make sure no one left hungry. If you went to visit Tanya at her home, no matter the time of day or night, she would insist on your sitting down for a multicourse meal. Thereafter, she would insist on packing extra to take home for later. Momma also enjoyed food, and relished in gourmet American cooking, with oohs and aahs as she tasted new foods. It is not as often that children’s friends would call another mother their momma, but Tanya was a second mother to countless friends of Lillian and Ena. Even her nieces and nephews viewed her as their second mother. Tatyana was born Jewish, but regardless of religion, Tatyana was asked to be a god mother for more than fifty children in Khmelnitsky; others in the community so loved her kindness, generosity and caring for all. She was thrilled towards the end of her life watching her youngest grandchildren learning Judaism at home. She beamed with love and pride watching beloved four-year-old grandson Danik helping his papa light Shabbat candles, and listening to Danik recite by heart the “baruch atah!” Surely such a mother could never drift far from those she loved with all her heart. She was loved and adored by her daughters Lillian and Ena, who made up the entirety of her world. Her girls absolutely adored their mother and always wanted to become at least part of how she lived her life giving first to others. Tanya also adored her grandchildren and took great joy in all of them. She was a fighter, she loved life and she fought to the end. She had this amazing ability to make friends, everyone who she touched became her friend and they loved her because she was there for everyone who needed help. She gave her heart, piece by piece to others until her own ran out. Even when she was in her last days, she was worried about being a burden on her children. We will miss your face and shining eyes smiling down at us with heartfelt and genuine joy, love and affection. We will the way you laugh and cry dealing with our silly stories and problems. We will miss the gentle touch of your kind and loving hands. We will miss the warmth of your hugs and love. We miss the touch of your dear gentle and kind hands. We miss the warmth of your hugs. We miss you Mamochka, and there simply are not enough words as to how much you mean to us and how much we will miss you. Funeral services for Tatyana due to Covid-19 will be by Zoom at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, October 8, 2020, with only immediate family present simultaneously at the graveside. Email [email protected] for the zoom link. For those who see us, we ask your understanding that due to Covid-19 that you respect social distancing and masking. We will hug you with our eyes. Hopefully once this pandemic is behind us, we will be able to meet for a more intimate celebration of the life of this incredible woman.
The world lost a beloved mother, Tatyana (Tanya) Kovalchuk, who passed on October 6, 2020. Tatyana battled cancer, but it never stopped her from continuing to give the best care to everyone who touched her life. Momma died in her home, surrounded... View Obituary & Service Information
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