Bohdan Kurylko

Bohdan Kurylko

2028 - 2020

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Obituary of Bohdan Kurylko

Bohdan Kurylko was born in Lviv, Ukraine, in 1928, to Joseph and Anna (Udud) Kurylko. He and his younger brother Lubomyr attended school in Lviv until 1941, when their father, Joseph, was executed by the NKVD; shortly thereafter, Anna and her two sons left Ukraine for Austria. The boys continued their schooling throughout the war first in Vienna, then in Mondsee, and then at the Ukrainian Gymnasiums in Salzburg, Austria and Regensburg, Germany. Upon immigrating to the United States in 1949, they settled in Syracuse, New York. After serving two years in the U.S. Army in Fort Eustis, Virginia, Bohdan earned an MBA from Syracuse University. He immediately put his degree to good use, working first for Deloitte & Touche and then for Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG). His work as an auditor for IPG took him throughout Europe and landed him in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1964, where he met the Swiss woman who would become his life's partner. He and Lily married October 9, 1965, and he was transferred to Munich, Germany a few months later. They lived in Germany, where their family grew to include two daughters, Natalie and Alexandra. After 5 years in Germany, Bohdan was transferred to New York City, where he rose through the ranks at Interpublic Group of Companies and sister company McCann-Erickson, eventually serving as CFO of McCann-Erickson Worldwide. While success in his career brought him professional fulfillment and the chance to work in countries throughout the world, it was also a means to an end: Growing up in Europe during World War 2, losing his father at an early age, being displaced from Ukraine combined with his mother's hard-working example and drive to give her sons a good life instilled in him a similar drive. He always put family and his Ukrainian friends first and was determined to return to Ukraine as soon as it became possible. He believed in the value of education through academics and travel and blessed his family with international travel experiences and excellent education. His best friends were the friends with whom he had grown up in Lviv, and throughout their years here in the United States, this group of friends continued to be active in Plast, and camped together, skied together and supported one another through good and bad times. Throughout the decades, Bohdan stayed in touch with family in Ukraine and was keenly focused on Ukrainian current events. When finally Bohdan was able to return to Ukraine in the early 1990s, the trip solidified his mission to help the citizens of his homeland in any way he could. He travelled there multiple times each year, seeking out projects to which he could donate his time and resources. Zudak helped guide his work and ensured his contributions made it to the intended recipients, be it shoes or books for orphans, medical equipment for a hospital, relief for the victims of Chernobyl, or a water heater for a home for the aged. Now 92, Bohdan took his last trip to Ukraine at the age of 88. While he appreciates the asylum and opportunities the United States has provided he and his family, his heart will always belong to Ukraine.
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