Tania Sikorsky Von York

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LIMERICK — Tania Sikorsky von York, 90, died on Tuesday, September 22, in Limerick, where she had been living with a son, George von York, and his family since 2004.

Dr. von York, who was the daughter of aviation pioneer Igor I. Sikorsky, was born in Kiev, Ukraine, then part of the Russian empire, in 1918.

In 1923, Dr. von York arrived in the United States with family members to join her father, who had by that time established himself as an airplane manufacturer in Long Island, New York. The family moved to Connecticut when Sikorsky relocated his factory to Stratford in 1928. Dr. von York continued to reside in the Bridgeport area until relocating to Maine due to failing health.

A graduate of Stratford (CT) High School, Dr. von York attended the University of Connecticut briefly, graduated from the Junior College of Connecticut (now the University of Bridgeport) in 1943, and received her B.A. from Barnard College with a degree in History in 1945. She earned her doctorate in Sociology from Yale University in 1951.

In 1988, Dr. von York retired from the Sociology Department at Sacred Heart University, where she'd taught for 20 years, serving as department chair for a time. She also taught at the University School in Bridgeport in the early 1960s.

Dr. von York was known for her lively intellect, which was fostered by her wide-ranging reading on many topics, including fiction, history, philosophy and religion.

She was an avid lover of classical music and an accomplished musician herself, playing piano and violin.

She authored a book, "Russia's Road to Revolution." She has written extensively about her experiences as an émigré and her upbringing in the Russian community in Stratford. She has also written poetry and essays.

A convert to Roman Catholicism, Dr. von York was a parishioner at Notre Dame Roman Catholic church in Easton, Connecticut, where she served as Eucharistic minister and choir member. She was also a member of Sisters for the Church, a noncanonical religious order.

Predeceased in 1962 by her husband, George Boris von York, Dr. von York is survived by four children: Boris and his wife, Pearl, of Springfield, Vermont, Lisa and her husband, Stephen, of Orange, George, and his wife, Nancy, of Limerick, and Peter and his wife, Kelly, of Kenwood, California; six grandchildren, Alexander, Andrew, Elizabeth, Michael and George von York and Matthew Winters; and two great-grandchildren. She is also survived by four half-brothers, Sergei, George, Nicholas and Igor Sikorsky, and three half-sisters in Ukraine.

Arrangements have been made with Autumn Green Funeral Home at 47 Oak Street in Alfred.

Burial will be at Cedar Brook Burial Ground at 175 Boothby Road in Limington. Services and burial will be private.

To express condolences, visit www.autumngreenfuneralhome.com.>

Published in Fosters from Sept. 26 to Sept. 27, 2008