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 Charles Wassil Popivchak

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Charles Wassil Popivchak

  • Birth 9 Sep 1906 Iselin, Indiana County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Death 23 Sep 2001 Bower Hill, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Burial Carnegie, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA
  • Memorial ID 37504394

DR CHARLES POPIVCHAK
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 3, 2001

CARNEGIE DENTIST, FOUNDING MEMBER
OF HOLY TRINITY CHURCH
by Lynn Shea, Tri-State Sports & News Service

As a town dentist for nearly half a century, Dr. Charles Popivchak was affectionately known around Carnegie simply as "Doc," someone who was appreciated as much for his skill as for his generous nature. The 95-year-old died Sept. 23 of pneumonia. "He could have made a lot more money, but he never failed to treat a patient just because they couldn't pay," said his son, Dr. Charles Popivchak. At age 65, Dr. Popivchak quit full-time practice in Carnegie, something he considered an early retirement - even though it came following a 48-year career. He went on to work part time for 25 more years in Ingram with Drs. Stephen P. Kukcuka and George R. Shontz. Dr. Kukcuka recalled that when he was just starting his practice in the 1970s, he and Dr. Popivchak complemented one another well. Kukcuka would share new techniques and methods with Dr. Popivchak who, in turn, passed on some of his well-honed expertise to the young dentists. "He was really good at the tough denture work," said Kukcuka. Dr. Popivchak did not limit his talents to dental work though. He was an accomplished folk artist, creating Pysanky eggs, the meticulously painted Ukrainian Easter eggs. He taught the traditional art form to two of his children. The doctor also made gold jewelry, intricate rose-shaped necklaces, earrings, and bracelets for his wife.

Dr. Popivchak was born in Iselin, a small coal town in Indiana County. He was the son of Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up working alongside his father, a butcher. He often helped deliver meat in a horse-draw cart and worked in the family's livery stable. The family eventually moved to Carnegie where the doctor's first job was working in a haberdashery selling men's suits. Desiring a better life, Dr. Popivchak enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh to pursue a medical degree. The onset of the Depression, however, caused Dr. Popivchak, the oldest of nine children, to shorten his studies so that he could help support the family. He changed from medicine to dentistry and graduated in 1933. Dr. Popivchak served in the Dental Corps of the U.S. Army during World War II as a lieutenant, and was later promoted to captain.

Dr. Popivchak was a founding member of the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie. In 1952, Dr. Popivchak mortgaged his home to raise funds so the church could purchase 42 acres of land that was used for the church building, a cemetery and picnic grounds. Dr. Popivchak continued to be very active in the church's life. He was a member of the Holy Name Society, whose members lead the rosary at parishoner's funerals. He organized bingos and helped the women of the church make pierogi.

Dr. Popivchak served as a director of the Chartiers Valley Savings and Loan Association and was a former director of the Carlynton school board. He was a life member of the Pennsylvania Dental association, the Odontological Dental Society of Western Pennsylvania, and the Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks. He also was an honorary member of the Knights of Columbus, and belonged to the American Legion Post No. 145, Crafton, and the Ukrainian American Citizens Club. Dr. Popivchak was also the last surviving founding member of the Goodwill Hill Fishing and Hunting Club. Dr. Popivchak made an annual trip for many years to Wachapreague, Va., for deep sea fishing.

Dr. Popivchak is survived by his wife Anna and four children, including daughter, Charlotte Marko of Avon Lake, Ohio, and three sons: Dr. Charles Popivchak and Joseph Popivchak both of Kintersville, Bucks County, and John Popivchak of Oakdale. He had nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross for disaster relief.


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  • Created by: markpop1961
  • Added: 25 May 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37504394
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Charles Wassil Popivchak (9 Sep 1906–23 Sep 2001), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37504394, citing Holy Trinity Cemetery, Carnegie, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by markpop1961 (contributor 46908407) .