Seventy years ago, on April 23, 1944, during the third year of World War 2, my parents, Julie Koshuba and Peter Noznick married. My mother was a stenographer at Family Service of St Paul, (which was located where the Ordway Theater stands today). My father was a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, working on his PhD. in biochemistry.
I’m not sure how they met, it is possible that they were introduced by Dr. Mykola Haydak, who was a professor at the University, and my mother’s step-father, since his office was on the Farm Campus in St Paul, where my father had some classes.
My father came to Minnesota in the fall of 1938, from Connecticut, graduating from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Chemistry. He missed the devastating Hurricane of 1938 by a few weeks.
|Peter Noznick and friends, graduation from the University of Connecticut, June 1938.|
Although my mother had a job, she also spent many hours on activities in the Ukrainian community, she danced with the Ukrainian Folk Ballet of the Twin Cities, was active in her church, and spent many hours educating people about Ukrainian culture. Every spring, she demonstrated the making of Ukrainian Easter eggs all over the Twin Cities. From all the pictures of her in the ST Paul and Minneapolis newspapers, it is amazing that she had time to sleep.
With the Great Depression barely over, and World War 2 going on, most young people did not have much money to spend on entertainment. They got together in groups to go dancing and ice skating and other inexpensive activities. My Dad, being a graduate student, had very little money to spend on anything.
From what my mother told me, it was an on and off romance. My Dad was a smoker, which to my mother was unacceptable. They broke up for quite a while, and when they got back together, he had quit smoking. They both liked to dance, and they sometimes took a streetcar to a dance hall, and spent the evening dancing, or went to see a movie with friends.
They were engaged in 1943, and married in April 1944. The wedding was at St Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Minneapolis; founded by a group of Ukrainian immigrants, led by my great-grandfather, Sylvester Rychly.
|Pauline Haydak and Mykola Haydak, married in 1943. Julie's mother and step-father.|
The wedding dinner was held in the Hall, which was in the basement of the church. It was a family affair, there wasn’t much money to spend on the wedding. Walter, my mother’s brother, bought the wedding gown. John and Anna Romanchuk, my mother’s uncle and aunt, had a farm, and they provided the meat for the dinner. My mother’s other Aunts cooked and served the dinner. Her uncles kept the bar going. A group from the University provided the music. A long-time family friend, Mrs. Irene Granovsky, decorated the hall and tables with apple blossoms. My mother said that the hall was totally transformed, and looked very beautiful. It is too bad that except for the formal portraits, there are no pictures. My mother’s brother, Walter planned to take pictures, but he got too busy collecting money to help bring his brother, Joe, serving in the US Army, home for a leave.
|Peter and Julie's 50th Anniversary Party, Evanston IL 1994.|
Peter and Julia celebrated were happily married for 61 years. After he received his PhD., they moved to the Chicago suburbs and raised three children. They celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 1994, and their 60th anniversary in 2004. Peter passed away in 2005, Julie in 2007.
Ukrainian people offer the same wish for birthdays, weddings and anniversaries: “God grant you many years…health, wealth and happiness!” It certainly was true for Peter and Julia.
|The Noznick Family, 1966. Julia, Peter W., Peter P., Andrew and Pauline|