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Dr. Yuriy George Lukyan de Sas Toporowicz Podlusky 06.01.1923 – †10.18.2020



He left, flew away, lit a fire that will burn for a long time, as a memory of the great Ukrainian, Dr. Yuriу de Sas-Toporowicz Podlusky – a professor, radiologist. The funeral took place on October 22 in Chicago, in the Greek Catholic Church of St. Joseph the Betrothed, of which he was a parishioner for many years. St. Nicholas himself looked upset, an image in the iconostasis, funded by Dr. YuriуPodlusky, a great patron. He himself was like St. Nicholas, giving people, museums, churches his good and part of himself. We understand that 97 years behind us is the age given by the Almighty on earthly roads, but at the same time we do not want to believe that the doors will not open on Thursday and a smiling doctor will not appear on the doorstep of the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago, asking for help to take out the next packages from the car. Every Thursday for 20 years he was a welcome guest here and not only because he considered this museum his Ukrainian home.



The patron has a long and interesting life behind him, most of which he spent in Chicago. He deserved the gratitude of Ukrainians for preserving the heritage. He was engaged in collecting Ukrainian historical, church values ​​and exhibits, faleristics (heraldry), numismatics, etc. He donated most of his Ukrainian possessions (his words) to the museum. He was known and respected. After all, Dr. Podlusky was the Honorary President of the American Numismatic Society, the Military Badge of the PEC, General Osavul of the Department of Numismatics and Cossack Heraldry of the General Directorate of the Ukrainian Free Cossacks, a member of various medical societies.



In his letter of thanks, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Dr. Podlusky, Patriarch of the UGCC Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) addressed the following words:

"Thanks to your selfless work, a huge number of sacred monuments have been preserved, which are now on display for public inspection and research. They have become a visible symbol of the spiritual wealth of our Church, which was left by the glorious predecessors for future generations. For all the above-mentioned merits that you have done for the Glory of God and the good of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, I express my heartfelt gratitude to you and express my recognition and praise. ”

As you know, Patriarch Sviatoslav (Shevchuk) visited the Ukrainian Museum in Chicago in the fall of 2011, where he got acquainted with a valuable collection of religious treasures and talked, in particular, with the patron Yuri Podlusky.

I would like to note that Dr. Yuriy was a deeply religious man and the fact that he saved a whole collection of personal belongings of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky testifies to his inseparable spiritual connection with his ancestors. Few people know that the Podluskis family tree dates back to 1560. It intertwines the branches of the priestly families of Galicia, with the ancestral nobility and wisdom. Dr. Yuri's best character traits are similar to those of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky, who argued that "funds devoted to the advancement of cultural life and science are not expenditures, but rather investments that bring great benefits."



Dr. Podlusky has a lot of merits in the field of science and medical practice, but the most important is his personal collection, which numbers thousands of items, and which was purchased at his own expense and transferred to the Ukrainian National Museum in Chicago. Metropolitan Andrei once said: “We don't want to be the guardians of the graves; we want to be witnesses of the revival. We pass the museum's collections to our people not only as documents and testimonies of our fathers' glory – we pass them on to those who see the culture of our people as a living foundation of the future – by God willing – joint work of our clergy and intelligentsia, future generations of our people.

The patronage of Dr. Yuriy Lukyan de Sas Toporovich Podlusky is a worthy example of service to the native people and Ukraine.

Visitors to the museum are amazed by what they see, and when they learn that one great man made such a donation to the museum, they dream of meeting him, which he never refused. On the news of Dr. Podlusky's departure to better worlds, Ukrainian historians propose that the President of Ukraine confer the title of Hero of Ukraine on the great patron. More than 20,000 Internet users responded with sympathy to the family and the museum community. So great was his funeral, which he deserved with his life.



Dr. Yuriy Podlusky fulfilled the dream of many predecessors, presented in the exhibits and documents donated to the museum – and this is the knowledge of their own history. Various historical documents, as well as personal belongings of the servant of God Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky testify to the high moral strength of Ukrainians in the postwar wave of emigrants, to which he belonged, becoming a guardian and researcher of rare and unique exhibits of spiritual and material heritage of the Ukrainian people.


Happy times in they childhood


There are many pages in his personal biography related to the fate of the country, world history: his childhood was spent in Przemyśl, his godfather was Professor Oleksandr Kolessa. Among the relatives are Bishop Ioan Stupnytsky, Colonel of the Ukrainian People's Republic Borys Paliy-Neilo, and General of the Polish Army Ivan Romer .... In 2003, the Podlusky family of bright memory Erica, the doctor’s wife, presented the museum with a unique collection of Ukrainian faleristics (armory), weapons and uniforms, Cossack sabers and jewels. In early 2013, Dr. Yuri made another amazing gift to the museum – a grand piano, which belonged to his cousin – a prominent pianist of the twentieth century, Lyubka Kolessa from Lviv.


03.25.1983 Members present at the establishment of the Commandery of the Holy Sepulcher, and the dubbing of seven new Knights into Sovereign Military Order of the Temple of Jerusalem.Ceremony at St. James Episcopal Church.


Often at the crossroads of destiny there are many things that accompany a person, and filled with his life. Much can tell the piano about its mistress in the language of sounds. However, Dr. Yuriy Podlusky shared his warmest memories of the famous cousin in a conversation with me: “In our family, all women dreamed of music. There was a piano in every house, and it was unthinkable that there would be no music on holidays or weekdays in the evenings. We lived in Przemyśl. My father, Volodymyr Podlusky, was a judge. He knew music, but when our mother Maria sat at the piano, he could not look away from her. The greatest joy was the play of my grandmother – Olga Litynska. At one time she studied with the famous pianist Karol Mikul, a student of Chopin. And when her beloved granddaughter Lyubka inherited piano skills, her grandmother's pride knew no bounds. Cousins ​​Christ and Lubka used to come from Vienna, and later from Prague to our home. My two brothers and I went on tiptoes so that the girls could sleep on the duvets. And as the sun returned at noon, the grandmother brought her princesses warm milk…



I was much younger than my gifted cousins ​​and looked enviously at my older brother, who accompanied them on the "promenades" around Przemyśl. We haven't seen each other for over 20 years. Lyubka gave real concerts in many countries of the world, she saw an audience of many thousands, heard enthusiastic shouts of "bravo!" and gratefully accepted bouquets of beautiful flowers. She married an English lord, lived in Canada since 1940, and gave concerts in North and South America. In 1959 we met in Chicago. Two aunts, my mother's sisters, Olga Kolessa from Czechoslovakia and Stefania Romer from Poland, came to visit us. Lyubka brought her son Igor from Canada to see her grandmother Olga.



Welcome guests in the house of Dr. Yuriy and Erika Podlusky. Mom with her sisters, Lubka Kolessa with her son.


And a year later we met in Toronto. As a collector since childhood, I persuaded Lyubka to sell me a piano, about which there were legends in the family. Because my cousin shared my interest in music and the preservation of family heirlooms, the piano moved to the United States. ”

You can become a patron only at the call of the soul. Dr. Yuri Podlusky believed that supporting museum work was first of all a manifestation of love for his homeland – for Ukraine. Passion for art, love of music and culture helped to look at the world with optimism. “My hands don't always listen to me when I try to make music. Therefore, it is better for Lyubka's piano to serve the culture. It feels and attracts talented musicians like a magnet, "said the patron, donating the instrument to the museum." Lyubka Kolessa from Lviv received a brilliant musical education at the Vienna Academy of Music, having started performing at the age of fifteen. The pianist received her first recognition in Austria in 1918, becoming the owner of a high award established for the best graduates of the Academy by the company "Bezendorfer - a grand piano").


Christmas at Podlusky's familly


Podluskiys come from an old, noble family of Galicia. The oldest historical document that Dr. Yuri was proud of dates back to 1560, at the same time the Polish King Zygmunt August granted Mykola Podlusky a noble privilege together with the estate. This document was confirmed by the Polish King Jan Sobieski for Ignatius of Podlusky in Jaworów in 1686. Simeon and Petro Podlusky proved their ancestral nobility from Austria by inscribing a family tree in “Generos” in the “Galician Government of Staniv” with the emblem “Wappen Sas, mit dem Beinamen Toporowicz”. Father Volodymyr Podlusky worked as a city judge in Mostyska near Przemyśl. In 1912 he married Maria Litynska, the daughter of Lukyan, a doctor from Peremyshl, and Olha Litynska. During the First World War, the Austrian gendarmerie sent Judge Pidlusky to the concentration camp in Taleogof due to an unfounded denunciation.


Dr. Volodymyr Podlusky, 1934, the best civil judge in Poland


He was later released for lack of evidence, but lost his job during the Polish-Ukrainian war of 1918-1919 for failing to take an oath to serve Poland. From 1934 he conducted civil cases and was considered the best civil judge in Poland. He barely escaped from Siberia in 1939, when the Soviet occupiers constantly searched his house. He managed to cross San River and settled in Jarosław. Under German rule he became a judge, later deputy prosecutor of the District Court in Przemyśl. At the risk of his life, he hid Jewish friends who worked with him in the courts in his own home. In 1945, Polish authorities arrested a judge as a well-known Ukrainian patriot and imprisoned him in Rzeszów, where he met with Bishop Cyrus Josaphat Kotsilowski before being deported by the Soviets.


Dr. Volodymyr Podlusky and his wife Olha Podluska Litynska


He was not allowed to return to his native Przemyśl after prison, only to Kraków, where he died. And in Przemyśl he was known and remembered not only as a judge, but as the father of an entire Ukrainian gymnasium, from 1932 to 1939 he headed the parents ’committee and published school almanacs in Lviv at his own expense. It was a state gymnasium with Ukrainian as the language of instruction, which was graduated by three sons of Volodymyr Podlusky – Maryan, Yulian, Yuri. His father was also the president of the "Catholic Action" for the whole Diocese of Przemyśl, and later in Krakow he tried to help the Greek Catholic Church.


Dr. Yuriy Podlusky and his wife Erica Podlusky

Dr. Yuriy's path to patronage was inherited from his father. After graduating from high schools in Przemyśl and Jarosław, the Medical Academy in Gdańsk (1944) and the Medical University in Munich (1951), Dr. Yuriy Podlusky and his wife and young son Peter left for America.


Dr. Yuriy Podlusky, his wife Erica and son Peter


Here he confirmed his diploma, working from an assistant physician at St. Anne's Hospital (1952), to a professor of radiology at Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, and at Chicago Osteopathic Medical Centers (Midwestern University).

Throughout his medical career, he has held senior positions, heading radiology departments at leading hospitals.



In July 1972, the Chicago Sun-Times wrote about the Podlusky family. From the article entitled "An international kind of family" (author Jane Gregory) we learn that the family has grown by two children, whom Dr. Yuriy and his wife Erica adopted from Korea. Peter's son was graduating from medical school at Roosevelt University at the time, and the parents decided they could help the two orphans get back on their feet, get an education and live in a free country. "I don't see other people's children. Children are children, no matter where they come from, no matter where they are born," shared Eric's mother.

Having children at home is a joy. My colleagues say that I have become younger with their appearance. Imagine that they were left, left on the street, nobody needs them. They were deprived of hope for a happy childhood ... ”, – said father Yuriy. The girls studied at music and ballet school, quickly learned the language, and loved their new family. The family spoke English, German, Ukrainian, and in the beginning there was Korean between the children. Of course, it was not easy, but love won. ” This is the family that love built. Dr. and Mrs. George Podlusky adopted Oun Soon (left) their first Korean daughter when son Peter was grown. Kum Sook (right) arrived this spring. “In the end, children are children, wherever they come from,” say Msgr. Podlusky (Sun-Times Photo by Carmen Reporto).



P.S. Dr. Podlusky was the soul of the museum, our good father and advisor. We shall always remember our museum Thursdays with his coffee and sweets, Christmas presents and a sincere smile. He was able to give us the day and the sun, the rays of which are forever with us. ... They call: kru-kru-kru ... I will die in a foreign land, I shall fly over the sea, I shall wipe the wings ... Kru-kru-kru -... Dr. Podlusky is buried at St. Nicholas cemetery in Chicago, next to the wife Erika Podluska. Sincere condolences to relatives and friends.



Maria Klimchak, curator of the Ukrainian National Museum. Chicago, USA.

Photos from the Ukrainian National Museum collections

#1, #17 - photos by Julian Hayda (Chicago)

Translated by John Bekhta (Lviv, Ukraine)

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