METROPOLITAN'S FATHER CELEBRATES 87TH BIRTHDAY
On Tuesday, March 15, 2005, Mr. Edward L. Champion, father of Archbishop-Metropolitan Michael Javchak Champion, presiding hierarch of the UAOC of N & S America & the Diaspora observed 87 years of human life.
Mr. Champion, born in Hudson, NY in 1918, spent his formative years in New York City's Washington Heights neighborhood and also in upstate NY, near Amsterdam. He enlisted in the United States Army in 1940 and served as a Cadet Instructor at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.
On June 18, 1944, he married the former Margaret Javchak, who passed away in 1992. Born in New York in 1924, Mrs. Champion was the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants of the first immigration, Anna and Joseph Javchak. The couple raised three children and lived in Westchester County, NY since the time of their marriage, where Mr. Champion still resides in the family home.
Edward and Margaret were well known members of the community for decades. Besides each reaching supervisory positions at their respective places of employment, they were involved in religious and civic activities as well, including the American Legion. For many, many years, they volunteered countless hours as dedicated parishioners at SS. Peter & Paul Church and tireless benefactors and associates of the Sisters of the Order of the Good Shepherd, among other charitable works.
A family celebration was held at the home of Metropolitan Michael's sister Edwina, on Sunday, March 13, attended by many members of the Champion and Javchak families. Mr. Champion and his Archbishop-son celebrated quietly on March 15, by having dinner with Msgr. Francis Ansbro, a local Latin Rite pastor at the Paradise Restaurant in Verplank, NY.
The following day, March 16, Metropolitan Michael and Mr. Champion were pleased to receive at the family home, the V. Rev. Protopresbyter Yuriy Kasyanov of Riverhead, NY. Father Kasyanov brought with him, gifts for both Mr. Champion and the Archbishop-Metropolitan from Ukraine. After briefly touring the historic Cortlandt/Peekskill area, which, along the Hudson River, was an integral part of the American Revolution, Metropolitan Michael, Fr. Yuriy and Mr. Champion enjoyed another celebratory dinner at the Capri II restaurant in Peekskill. The day also included well-wishes through a telephone call with Metropolitan Stephan, primate-emeritus of our Metropolia and a long-time close friend of Mr. Champion and the family.
Although having enjoyed fairly good health until last year, Mr. Champion has battled a bout with cancer since the summer of 2004. Always intellectually astute, the Metropolitan's father continues to cooperate with God's grace, in this current physical challenge, while treasuring the freedom of living in his own home. He loves to reminisce about the many years of life that he has seen and the changes that have occurred therein. He is an avid reader and a student of both American and world history. On one rare occasion, a young Mr. Champion and a friend were witnesses to the air ship Hindenburg, as it flew over the Long Island Sound where the two were fishing. Moments after, its historical crash occurred at a nearby New Jersey port.
During Fr. Yuriy's visit, he and his Metropolitan offered prayers for the health and well-being of Mr. Champion, asking God's blessings upon him, his family and home on the occasion of the birthday observances. Pictured here are some photos taken during the blessing service.
May God grant to his servant Edward Champion continued peace, health and salvation in the upcoming years. Khrystos Voskres!
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