Theresa Yevchak cherished to make others smile — and she had many methods of doing so.
Her social and affectionate character delivered others cheer, told her sister, Sophie Raychel. Theresa also had an approachable demeanor and usually seemed her excellent, Sophie stated, regularly wearing carefully styled hair and make-up.
Theresa, who additionally went by using “Terry,” turned into liked by means of individuals who knew her for her Polish culinary specialties, her love of polka dancing, her devotion to circle of relatives — and to bingo, frequently triumphing the jackpot.
Theresa, an almost lifestyles-long Binghamton First Ward resident, died April 26. She became 88.
Sophie, eighty-three, of Endwell, told her sister turned into acknowledged now not handiest for her fun-loving character, however also for her compassion and capacity to place others before herself — from operating to help her massive circle of relatives at some point of the first-rate despair as a toddler to volunteering for numerous community organizations later in lifestyles.
“Always thinking about others, no longer herself — it’s how she changed into,” Sophie said.
Theresa Lenga was born might also 21, 1927, in “Polish Heaven,” a part of the Binghamton vicinity regarded for its Polish community.
She grew up on Sowden street in Binghamton on a stretch of street that was demolished to make room for kingdom course 17, Sophie said. They lived with 12 other siblings in a three-bed room home. Theresa slept in an unmarried bed with three of her siblings.
But Sophie stated they’d a totally glad formative years and grew up in a being concerned and affectionate circle of relatives surroundings.
“Theresa had love and happiness with her large own family in Polish Heaven,” Sophie said.
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Theresa went to highschool and church at St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, based in June 1914 through Polish immigrants. She became a proud and active member of the church choir, Sophie said.
Developing up throughout the incredible depression, Theresa needed to drop out of college in 8th grade to assist boost cash to assist support her huge circle of relatives.
Family chores also kept her busy, Sophie said. Theresa cooked, cleaned and cared for the young ones whilst her mom become out searching out work and her father worked at Endicott Johnson’s shoe factory for $12 every week.
Theresa’s apparel turned into regularly tattered. She had to use rubber bands to hold her footwear from falling aside. however, she always seemed beautiful, Sophie stated.
Developing up, Theresa had long, blond hair that framed blue eyes and a sprinkle of freckles. She become an imaginative and prescient in white for the duration of her first communion, Sophie said, way to their mom’s styling.
Theresa regarded cute throughout her existence, Sophie stated, always taking time to choose out nice clothing to put on and doing her hair simply right.
Despite all the work that needed to be achieved in her massive own family, Theresa continually observed methods to have amusing, Sophie stated.
Sophie fondly remembers playing video games within the streets with Theresa and their siblings. Indoor games protected one Theresa could develop to love as a person: bingo. Lower back then, the prize become often candy, Sophie stated.
In wintry weather, Theresa might go sled riding with a sled she constructed from cardboard. “And down Pulaski road we went, having a ball!” Sophie recalled.
Theresa spent numerous summers dwelling in a cabin with different circle of relatives individuals in North Norwich picking peas and beans for a farmer, Sophie said. She made 50 cents a bushel. All of her cash went to help her own family, Sophie said.
Theresa became also affectionate and affected person with her siblings — even if Sophie would nibble at the sandwich Theresa had packed for lunch while picking.
“Theresa became a totally, very fine character. A type, lovable person,” Sophie stated. “She always become there if you wanted anything.”
Assembly the affection of her life
One night time at the same time as out with buddies inside the early Forties, Stephen “Steve” Yevchak took one look at Theresa Lenga with a set of her pals, then told one in every of his friends, “this is the lady I’m going to marry someday.”
Marie Dauphinais, of Harpursville, said not lengthy after her father first saw her mom, Steve officially met Theresa at Cruty’s Bar.
“It was a random crossing of paths,” said Steve Yevchak Jr., of Erie, Pennsylvania.
Steve and Theresa made a not likely couple on the time.
Steve Jr. said his father turned into on go away for a brief time from the military Air Corps. Steve Yevchak Sr. turned into also an electrician on PBY’s, one of the maximum extensively used seaplanes of worldwide warfare II regularly used for sea rescues, Steve said.
heresa already had a severe boyfriend, who had a lot of cash and turned into prepared to advise, Marie stated. however, not long after Steve and Theresa met, Theresa left her boyfriend and advised Steve she would wait for him.
They married June 7, 1947.