Walter J. Tymchyn Sr.

Patricia A. and Walter J. Tymchyn Sr.

GUILDERLAND — Walter J. Tymchyn Sr. was a hard worker — first, on his family’s farm and later for the town’s highway department — who always put his family first.

He “went to eternal rest, surrounded by his loving and devoted family on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021,” his family wrote in a tribute. He was 85.

“Both Mama and Papa taught us never to lie, to tell the truth the very first time …,”  said his daughter, StacieAnn Farina. “They taught us to work honestly for what you want; it’s not worth it if you don’t earn it. And they taught us to love, laugh, and enjoy — we’re not here long.”

Mr. Tymchyn was born on May 4, 1936, the ninth and youngest child of the late Harry and Micholena Tymchyn. “He was born in Grandma’s sewing room,” said his daughter. 

He loved the farm on Hawes Road in Guilderland Center and wished it could have stayed in the family, said Ms. Farina.

“His nine siblings went off and had their lives. Because he was the youngest, he stayed and helped,” said his daughter. “It was a hard life but it was a good life.”

Ms. Farina herself lived on the farm until she was about 6 years old. Both of her father’s parents had left Kiev in the Ukraine, coming to America for a better life, she said. She recalls large Sunday gatherings at the farmhouse.

“All the aunts were there with perogies on every surface,” she said of the filled dumplings made of unleavened dough.

Mr. Tymchyn met the woman who would become his wife, Patricia Tymchyn, when he worked for Georgia Pacific as a trucker and she was a secretary there.

“It was love at first sight,” Mr. Tymchyn told The Enterprise when his wife died in 2012.

“He was smitten when he saw her — and that was it,” said Ms. Farina.

The couple were married for 42 years, the union ending only with her death.

For years, Mr. Tymchyn worked for Guilderland’s highway department. “He did plowing in the winter and mowing in the spring and summer,” said Ms. Farina.

She described her father as a dedicated family man. Both of her brothers played baseball — John Michael Tymchyn, who died in 2016, made a career of the sport.

“My dad was so dedicated, they named a field for him,” said Ms. Farina. The Walter Tymchyn Babe Ruth Field in Guilderland’s Tawasentha Park was dedicated just before the start of the 1997 baseball season.

Mr. Tymchyn was just as supportive of his daughter’s pursuits. She ran track and cross-country in high school. “He never, never missed a meet,” said Ms. Farina. “Papa and I had an absolutely beautiful relationship as I grew older,” she said.

She also said her father was known for his sense of humor. “It was absolutely fantastic at times and very embarrassing at other times,” she said.

A longtime member of the Guilderland Elks, Mr. Tymchyn was also an avid outdoorsman his entire life. He loved fishing and hunting and would go as far afield as Canada on hunting trips.

Ms. Farina used these words to describe her father’s personality: “dedicated, loyal, loving, fun, charming — 100-percent lovable.” She went on, “He always put his family first. He and my mom would go without to make sure me and my brothers had what we needed. His love was unconditional.”

As she spoke of the end of her father’s life, battling Parkinson’s disease, she added another word to describe him. Mr. Tymchyn was brought home on Feb. 26, 2020 with advanced Parkinson’s and was to have hospice care for his last week. He lived for another 18 months.

“He was a fighter,” said Ms. Farina.

She cried to tell of how she went grocery shopping this week and for the first time in months bought no bananas — his favorite.

But she carries on, thinking of her father’s reunion with the people he loved. Ms. Farina said, “I know he’s playing poker with his brothers and dancing with my mom.”

****

Walter J. Tymchyn Sr. is survived by his son, Scott A. Tymchyn; by his daughter, StacieAnn Farina, and her husband, Nick; and by his sister, Gloria Rice, and several nieces and nephews.

His parents, Harry and Micholena Tymchyn, died before him, as did his wife, Patricia Ann Tymchyn; his sons, John M. Tymchyn and Walter Tymchyn Jr; his daughter, Jan Marie; his brothers, Victor Tymchyn, Martin Tymchyn, Harry Tymchyn Jr., and John Tymchyn; and his sisters, Ann Carson, Mary Kates, and Betty Staroba.

His beloved beagle, Lucy, also died before him.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 11 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery at 6400 Hawes Road in Altamont.

Memorial messages may be left at www.altamontenterprise.com/milestones.

“The Tymchyn family expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Jamie, Mary Ann, Steven, and Joe of Community Hospice Rensselaer County and its utmost gratitude for the dedication, love, and respect shown by caregivers Cory (Papa’s Chloe) and Denise (Papa’s DeNephew) — this shows my father’s humor,” said Ms. Farina of the play on words with niece to nephew. 

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice Rensselaer County, 295 Valley View Blvd., Rensselaer, NY 12144.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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