Gregory “Fred” <I>Bobro Hryhoriy, Viktorovich</I> Bobro

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Gregory “Fred” Bobro Hryhoriy, Viktorovich Bobro

  • Birth 4 Mar 1938 Kharkov, Kharkivs'ka, Ukraine
  • Death 1 Jul 2010 Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
  • Burial Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California, USA
  • Memorial ID 55192342

Gregory (Fred) Bobro of Lompoc died suddenly at his home on Thursday, July 1, 2010, at the age of 72.

Fred was born March 4, 1938, in Kharkov, Ukraine. At a young age he and his family immigrated to the United States at the end of World War II through Ellis Island, New York. They first lived in Texas but settled in Lompoc living on the Cojo Ranch for many years while his father was in a work program there.

Fred graduated from Lompoc High School with the class of 1956. He served with the U.S. Army in Kansas [Fort Riley] and Fort Ord [in California] before becoming a United States citizen. When he returned to Lompoc he went to work for Johns Manville as a machinist and welder. He retired in 2001.

Fred was a devout Christian. He enjoyed working with wood, building and working with metal. He loved red wine.

Fred is survived by his son and daughter-in-law Anton and Amy Bobro of Colorado Springs, Colorado, his granddaughter Ashley, his brother George Bobro of Santa Barbara, numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Victor and Priscia Bobro, several sisters in Ukraine, and his sister Maria Muzyka.

A graveside service will be held on Friday, July 9, at 11 am in the Lompoc Cemetery. The arrangements are in the care of the Starbuck-Lind Mortuary.

Published in the July 8, 2010 edition of the Lompoc (CA) Record
____________________________________________________________

The following autobiographical sketch was written by Fred shortly before his death. It is incomplete but still a valuable memoir of his early years. T.N.

"Summer, 1943, the village, which is located about 6 miles from the city of Kharkiv (Kharkov in Russian), called Danylivka, (most likely Russianized by naming it ‘Danilovka') my father, mother, oldest sister, and my older brother, and of course myself, are leaving home, and fleeing the advancing Russian forces, in the hope that the retreating German army will eventually regroup, and drive the Soviet forces back to Russia. For that reason, my parents made the decision to leave my two older sisters, 16 year old Olena, and 14 year old Zina, home to keep an eye on the house and what other things on the property.

[Here is more information about the Battle of Kharkov.]

The five of us left our home, on foot, my father pulling a two wheel cart with what few possessions, probably a couple of blankets, and a cooking pot. Having made our way to Kharkiv, and seeing the city devastated, with German planes flying overhead, and the people all around us in despair and total confusion, was terrifying.

I don't remember much after that, but the next event that happened stands out in my mind. It's reasonable to assume that we were heading toward Western Europe so our next, I suppose you could call "obstacle" was, we had to cross the widest, and longest river in Ukraine called Dnipro, or western name Dnieper. I forgot to mention in the beginning, that we also brought the family cow with us, mainly I guess for the milk. Luckily for us, the retreating German forces had power boats to help all those who were fleeing the Soviet forces, cross the river. I still remember, like in a dream, our cow, being towed with a rope, swimming behind us.

From that point, my next memory is when we arrived in Poland, and stayed for a while in a village called Linkovitzy, reason being that back in 1941, one of my older sisters named Tatyana, was "conscripted", or a better word "forced" to work in a German factory because most of German men were in the German armed forces. And so when the American and British Air Forces bombed the city where my sister worked, called Dresden, the falling debris hit my sister in the back which, I believe injured her gravely. So my oldest sister, Maria, traveled by train to Germany to bring my sister Tanya back to Poland, hopefully to recuperate, but sad to say, she died, and my father had to make the coffin himself. She, as far as I know, is still buried there.

Before I proceed any further with our travels, and tribulations, I'd like to set the stage for who we are, and what we are about.

I was born on March 4, 1938 (in Kharkiv) and my "proper" Christian name is Bobro Hryhoriy, Viktorovich, meaning the son of Victor. A daughter is also named after her father's first name. For instance, my oldest sister was named Bobro Maria, Viktorovna.

My family tree is somewhat murky, mainly because most of my knowledge was things that my parents, and to some extent my sister Maria who was born in 1922 so she would remember things way back, especially going back to WWII.

My mother who was born Feb 15, 1901, whose last name was also Bobro (no relation to my father, before marriage because she was from another village). For some reason there were a lot of people with the name Bobro (Napoleon?). As a matter of fact there were so many of them, they named a village called Bobrivka, roughly translated, Bobroville. Her name is – Bobro Priscilla Federovna and her lineage is predominantly Jewish and Ukrainian. Her grandmother on her mother's side was Hebrew, converted and married a Christian man, and her name was Hanna. And Hanna's father's name was David, also Hebrew. I, somewhat jokingly, tell myself that I have some blood, or relationship to King David, believe it, or not.

As for my maternal grandfather, I know very little. I know his name is Fedor (Theodor) and that he was captured by the Germans during WWI because he was fighting in the Russian Army. (Czar Nicolas II was Russian "King") Way back in the 1700 hundreds, Ukraine was sort of "absorbed" by Russia, which at that time was ruled by Katherine the Pig (I refuse to call her great) and so it remained under the Russian boot (thanks in large part to F.D.R. and W. Churchill) until the Soviet block collapsed in 1989 (thanks to God and Pres. Reagan). So when Czar Nicolas II called my grandpa, he went to fight against "The Enemy of all the ‘Russias'", Germany. Although the Russian prisoners were treated roughly, most of them survived, including my grandpa. He lived a fairly long, and productive life, although he loved his vodka, he was what I call, a functional alcoholic.

My maternal grandmother, still don't know her name, either Anna or Halya, outlived my grandpa by about 10 years, having died at 96, still being able to write letters to us even up to almost her death. Of course, all these things are hearsay to me, because most of my relatives stayed in Ukraine when we left.

Concerning my father's lineage, I know very little. Of the things I know, his father's name is Anton (after who we named "punkin"), his mother's name is Maria, and she was almost brutal to my father, until, at 12 or thirteen, being physically strong, after being threatened by his mother with a beating, he had taken so much from her, that he pulled a gun, and fired it close to her head. She never touched him after that.

About that time, my grandpa Anton was sentenced to 10 years in Siberia (this happened before the first W.W.) mainly because his wife (Grandma Maria) was performing abortions (prohibited by the Orthodox Faith, of which Czar Nicolas was a staunch supporter). According to word of mouth, my grandma, Maria, was not a faithful wife. There were rumors flying around, probably true. On her deathbed, some people asked her what her fate would be on judgment day; her answer: "God is forgiving and merciful."

Going back to my father's background, one of my great heroes, my father's paternal (?) grandfather, whose name is Fanasiy, looms big in my young world; and remains so to this day. One story that stays with me, is one that people of today would find hard to comprehend. Back when, (probably back in the late 18 hundreds) when a party from a village went to the big city (Kharkiv) there was only one track laid down in the snow (winter) when one party was going to the city, and another party coming from city, one of the parties had to detour into the deep snow. So in order not to have an all out battle, each party sent out their strongest fighter, (usually a wrestling match). It just so happened that my great grandpa Fanasiy was with a group of (Ukrainian folk) from our village, and they happened to meet a group from another village, comprised mainly of Russian men. So who does the Ukrainian party send out but my great grandpa Fanasiy? Being a peace loving and God fearing man, he's begging not to fight, but his bunch insists. So, reluctantly he goes to do battle. The Russian group sends their "champion", a Russian considerably bigger than my great grandpa (little did they know that my gramps was the "village strongman"). Guessing from my father's story, he was approx. 5'9", about 200 lbs. but herculean strength. In the melee, the big Russian actually mocked my great grandpa Fanasiy, saying "why do you send out this ‘little' guy against me? I'll destroy him with my ‘scalplock' (the ponytail some men grew out of the back of their scalps). Without hesitation, Fanasiy picks up the big Russian and slams him to the hard packed snow. According to people that were there, the Russian started bleeding from his mouth and ears, and to this day I don't know if he survived. (I hope so)

My father was a great storyteller (all true). There was always a bunch of kids surrounding my dad, I called him Papa, begging him to tell more stories, and he would usually oblige. I could write a book about my father's exploits, but this is not a story just about my father, but a "window" into our whole family.

Concerning our immediate family, my parents had 8 children, myself being the youngest. First was Maria, who died December 1993, but in between, right after WWII she met her future husband in Germany, where we lived from 1945 until we "sailed" to America in June 1950.
Next was Tatyana, second oldest, who was forced to work in Germany where she sustained a deadly injury, and who died at 19 in front of my parents.

Next was Olena; I believe she is still alive, never married, having seen too much cruelty in the world in the world, apparently she didn't want to bring children into this world.

Next was Zina, very short in stature, very likeable nature. She married some guy who we never met. They had several children, grandkids, etc. She died some years ago from a stroke and poor medicine.

Next my parents had another girl (5) but sadly she died at 6 months. I'm assuming she was born 1932-1933, horrible time in Ukrainian history. By this time my mother was crying and praying to God she would have a son. (By the way the little sister that died at 6 months they named her Nüra). So my mother did conceive again and they did get their wish. My brother Paul was born. But he died at about 6 months.

By this time, most people would have given up. Not my parents. In 1935, my older brother was born, and they named him "Ura", translated George. He served 4 years in the U.S. Navy, then married and had a bunch of kids (6) and still resides with his family in Santa Barbara, U.S.A.

By this time my mother told me that she was running out of names so she got the idea that she would name me after the closest Saint in the Orthodox calendar, and of course it was St. Gregory.


At this time, I'd like to pick up where we left off, in Poland. By this time my father had traded our cow for a horse, so they hooked up the cart to the horse, that way my brother and I could finally ride in the cart. Really hard to pick up what countries we traversed, but to my best estimation, I know we went through Western Ukraine. Next I believe we went through Romania, Czechoslovakia, Austria, and ended up somewhere in Germany.

By the time we ended in Germany it took us almost 2 years to get there so the 2nd W.W. ended at just about the same time we got there, and Germany surrendered April or May 1945. We didn't know what to expect but somehow we ended in Germany where the Americans were in charge. Germany at that time (right after WWII) was divided into 4 what they called sectors: American, British, French, and Russian. Russians ended up in control of most of Eastern Europe, Baltic States, I believe Austria was under their control for a while, and of course, Eastern Germany, until the wall came down in 1989.

We were placed in a camp, of about 4,000 people, mostly Ukrainian, some Russian, called Somme Kaserne, in Augsburg. We stayed there about 4 years before they moved us to another camp in Germany, a town called Leipheim. From there, our family was moved to a special location, from which the countries that would take the refugees could have the American government (civilian) evaluate, and process the people, concerning their preference, their physical and mental status, and if you passed the requirements, would find private parties that would sponsor the people. We were called, officially, "Displaced Persons".

Somehow we got lucky, and were sponsored by a farmer in Texas (who grew cotton), well maybe not so lucky (we hoed cotton 12 hours a day in the hot Texas sun). We never saw any black or brown people, just us Caucasians. It didn't take long for us to realize, this was not the "American" dream, closer to a nightmare, so my parents began formulating a plan who we were going to extricate ourselves out of this difficult situation.

It so happened that my oldest sister Maria and her husband and their 1 year old son had emigrated to Lompoc, CA in 1949, because my sister's husband knew people there. Those people knew people that worked for this giant ranch called Rancho El Cojo, which ranch owner at that time, Fred Bixby, also owned Jalama Ranch, got my brother-in-law a job working for Rancho El Cojo. So my oldest sister Maria, along with her husband and their son, moved to the ranch to live, and work there. On the California map this ranch is located on a point called Point Conception.

Sometime in June of 1950, we decided to act. After school finished, we told the Texas farmer, our sponsor, that my mother and I wanted to go to California, on summer vacation (we had no intention of going back) so I think we borrowed some money from my sister and bought 2 tickets (on a bus) and after a few stressful days were picked up in Buellton by family and their friends. California was so different, compared to Texas and the countries we had seen before that it was "unsettling" to me. I had never seen countries with so many hills and mountains.

So, after living at the ranch for almost 2 years the family decided that ranch life was not for us. So my dad and brother-in-law bought an empty lot in Lompoc and built a little house on it. Can you imagine two families living in one little house? To make things even more difficult, by this time Maria and Pete had 4 children.

To make a long story shorter, I'll try to encapsulate the next few years in a few sentences. Pete and Maria bought a lot in Lompoc, and they built a home on it, and moved there. That left my parents, my brother George and me by ourselves. The next few years were very hard. My brother quit high school and joined the navy. My dad got sick and passed away, after 4 very painful years in 1958. He was 56 years old. That left me and my mother to cope with "life". By this time I was working full time at Johns-Manville."

May 8, 2010 Lompoc, CA

___________________________________________________________


New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957

Name: Hrycko Bobro
Arrival Date: 28 Mar 1950
Birth Year: abt 1939
Age: 11
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/Race­/Nationality: Polish
Port of Departure: Bremerhaven, Germany
Port of Arrival: New York, New York
Ship Name: General J H McRae


Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005

Name: Fred Bobro
Gender: Male
Spouse: Marsha Paulette Ho[dge] Moran
Marriage Date: 25 May 1974
Marriage County: Clark
Officiant type: Religious celebrant
Recorded Date: 6 Jun 1974
Recorded county: Clark
Book: 438
Instrument number: 742830


U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 1

Name: Marsha P Bobro
[Marsha Moran]
Birth Date: 6 Aug 1949
Phone Number: 735-4511
Address: PO Box 1294, Lompoc, CA, 93438-1294 (1993)
[412 N L St, Lompoc, CA, 93436-5937 (1992)]
[410 N L St # 12, Lompoc, CA, 93436-5937]


California Birth Index, 1905-1995

Name: Anton G Bobro [Fred's son and only child]
Birth Date: 29 Dec 1975
Gender: Male
Mother's Maiden Name: Moran
Birth County: Santa Barbara


Nevada Marriage Index, 1956-2005

Name: Gregory Bobro
Gender: Male
Residence State: California
Spouse: Kathleen Anne Cummings
Spouse residence state: California
Marriage Date: 4 Oct 1991
Marriage County: Clark
Officiant type: Religious celebrant
Recorded Date: 10 Oct 1991
Recorded county: Clark
Book: 1010
Page: C310002
Instrument number: 92098


U.S. Public Records Index, Volume 2

Name: Kathleen A Bobro
Birth Date: 11 Sep 1950
Address: 412 N L St
City: Lompoc
State: CA
Zip Code: 93436-5937


United States Obituary Collection

Name of Deceased: Gregory Bobro
Gender: M (Male)
Age at Death: 72
Death Date: 1 Jul 2010
Obituary Date: 8 Jul 2010
Newspaper Title: Lompoc Record
Newspaper Location: Lompoc, CA, USA
Birth Date: 4 Mar 1938
Birth Place: Kharkov
Parents' Names: Victor and Priscia Bobro,
Childrens' Names: Anton and Amy Bobro of Colorado Springs, Colorado
Siblings' Names: George Bobro of Santa Barbara; Maria Muzyka
Military: U.S. Army


Social Security Death Index

Name: Fred Bobro
SSN: 558-54-5674
Last Residence: 93436 Lompoc, Santa Barbara, California, United States of America
Born: 4 Mar 1938
Died: 1 Jul 2010
State (Year) SSN issued: California (1956)
____________________________________________________________

California Death Index, 1940-1997

Name: Victor Bobro [Fred's father]
Social Security #: 568424121
Sex: Male
Birth Date: 10 Nov 1902
Birthplace: Other Country
Death Date: 5 Mar 1958
Death Place: Santa Barbara
Mother's Maiden Name: Bezpaly
Father's Surname: Bobro


California Death Index, 1940-1997

Name: Priscilla Bobro [Fred's mother]
Social Security #: 558424121
Sex: Female
Birth Date: 15 Feb 1901
Birthplace: Other Country
Death Date: 14 Aug 1996
Death Place: Santa Barbara


Family Members


Inscription

US ARMY

BELOVED SON
FATHER AND GRANDFATHER


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  • Created by: Tom Nelson
  • Added: 20 Jul 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 55192342
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Gregory “Fred” Bobro Hryhoriy, Viktorovich Bobro (4 Mar 1938–1 Jul 2010), Find A Grave Memorial no. 55192342, citing Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery, Lompoc, Santa Barbara County, California, USA ; Maintained by Tom Nelson (contributor 47054245) .