My family and I would like to share some things about my dad that you might know and might not. He was born in the Ukraine and then later spent some time with his family in Germany until they immigrated to the United States. They settled in Elmira and he started working at American Bridge. Within a few months of that the army had different plans for him. He was drafted and served in the Korean War. He attained the rank of corporal and later was honorably discharged. After serving his country he returned to working at American Bridge. A few years later, he married my mom, Mary, and they had a family—me, Theresa, my brother, Steven, and my sister, Pauline.
During his career at American Bridge, he was an accomplished welder and became a welding instructor for them. Upon their closing, he worked for Cut Flower in Elmira Heights. There he was a maintenance man who kept the place running.
My father had many talents. He was amazing at building things with wood and iron. He had the ability to look at a design and copy it. He was also good at fixing things and remodeling. That came in very handy with his own home, as well as his children's, friends and family. When asked if he could help, he never turned anyone down.
Throughout the years, my dad also tried many different hobbies—raising quails, turkeys, and bees. Of course since we were still at home us kids along with my mom also got involved in the hobby. There was a time where he also enjoyed hunting, smelting, and fishing too. But his passion was his garden and lawn. He always looked forward to the spring—getting the lawn fertilized and starting the plants for the garden. Then there was the daily ritual of checking out what was growing in the garden and where the weeds were in the lawn. My mom was his #1 assisstant in all of these projects. He enjoyed his lottery tickets too—scratch offs and the daily number. He wanted to win big so that he could share with his family. Of course we are still waiting for the numbers to come up.
During his life he also enjoyed his Lucky Strikes and Budweiser. There were many times that he enjoyed both at his favorite hangouts—Ukie Club, CWV, VFW, and Heights American Legion.
He also went several times to the Ukraine to visit family and to bring gifts that would make their lives easier. He enjoyed those visits , but when he returned home he would tell us all that there is no place like America.
Family meant a lot to my dad. He would always help. That included his children, grandchildren, as well as his brother, sisters, and friends.
My family would also like to thank their terrific neighbors. They have looked out for them for many years. We would also like to thank the girls at the Dialysis Unit on Ivy St. at Arnot Ogden Hospital. During the 5 ½ years my dad had dialysis he received kind, considerate, professional care. He developed a relationship with many of them, affectionately giving them cute nicknames. My dad's sense of humor got him through many tough times of his illness as well as helped those around him cope with it. We would also like to thank Dr. Mauri who for over 20 years was my dad's primary care physician as well as Dr. Becker, Dr. Riley, and Dr. Tapia . Their kind caring manner helped both my dad and mom tremendously during the years. Recently we had hospice through CareFirst. With their support we were able to have my dad spend his final days at home. Thanks especially to Courtney and Debbie who helped us all get through this time.
In closing I want all of you to know that my dad enjoyed a good time and he would not want us to be sad today, but send him off with a celebration of his life. Please have a drink for my dad. Nas Dirovia Dad! We love you and will miss you, but you will live on in our hearts and memories.