The Town of Dickinson marked what would have been her 71st birthday by proclaiming Maria Zobniw Day in the town.
A ceremony was held inside the Prospect Terrace Fire Station today, not far from the memorial in her honor. Zobniw was one of 13 victims of the American Civic Association massacre that took place 10 years ago on April 3rd, 2009. A staff member of the ACA, Zobniw, also known as Mima, wasn’t originally scheduled to work that day but was called in to assist a client with citizenship paperwork. Her daughter Oreste Lisowsky says her mother took pride in her Ukrainian heritage, and also enjoyed helping immigrants from other countries.
“Mima inspired us with her abundant generosity, selfless volunteerism, strength of character, gentle spirit and good humor. But most of all, she comforted us as a great listener who always had time to ease our problems, and heal our hurts. Through her death, we have lost a companion and mentor, a dear and much-loved friend.”
Zobniw was very active in the Ukrainian-American community, organizing the annual Ukrainian Independence Day event at Binghamton City Hall. During the ceremony, a fellow parishioner of Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church, Gene Czebiniak sang a Ukrainian folk song and Zobniw’s daughters and grandchildren passed out little jade plants. Her daughters say she was known for her ability to care for and nurture plants as well as people.