DAVID WILCOX, Lake Llfe edltor

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When you lhink oí "living lhe
American dream," you vouldn'l
necessarily associale lhe phrase
vilh a rural
physician oí
cenlral Nev
York. Il vould
lake a vorld
var lo aller
lhe íale oí his
íamily, placing
lhem among
displaced
persons on
lhe USNS
Gen. C.H. Muir lhal deparled
Bremerhaven, Germany and ar-
rived nine days laler al lhe porl
oí Nev York on May I,, Ip,I.
The passenger maniíesl al An-
ceslry.com shovs Wolodymyr
Prokopiv, his viíe, Olga, lheir
iníanl son and Wolodymyr's
8¸ year-old molher all having
lhe deslinalion oí (,8 Grand
Sl., Nev York. This maniíesl is
íor lhe íamily oí "Doc Prok" oí
Weedsporl.
Aíler conlacling Ellis Island,
I received a reply írom Mike
Maring vilh lhe American Eam-
ily Immigralion Hislory Cenler.
He also revieved lhe Anceslry
record and shared lhal because
lhis vas a reíugee ship, pas-
sengers vould have been pro-
cessed al Ellis, bul lhere vas no
evidence lhal lhis íamily vas
delained due lo illness, so lhey
arrived in good heallh. Much
oí vhal is knovn aboul Doc's
background comes írom a bio in
The Cilizen in Ip88, as vell as a
shorl biography provided by lhe
Ukrainian Medical Associalion
oí Norlh America.
Wolodymyr (Waller) Pro-
kopiv vas born in Ipo6 in
Auslria, lhe child oí Teodor and
Dorolha Troulman Prokopiv.
He received his educalion al lhe
Jagiellonian Universily (íounded
I¸6() al Kravkov, Poland.
Upon compleling his sludies
he opened a general praclice
in lhe lovn oí Tovmacz. Olga,
his íulure viíe, vas leaching
malhemalics al a high school in
Przemysl vhen lhey mel in Ip¸6.
When German íorces marched
inlo Poland, lhe invading oííi-
cers consulled Waller regarding
iníeclious diseases and inslrucl-
ed him lo open a hospilal, a lask
lhal vas no small underlaking.
When lhe íorces relrealed, lhey
look Waller and his son lo a con-
cenlralion camp, vhere Waller
lrealed olher prisoners.
While in lhe various camps,
ve knov very lillle aboul Wal-
ler's experiences. According lo
Waller, "lhey needed me as a
doclor. There vere so íev doc-
lors. Many vho did nol have
lhe slrenglh did nol survive."
Despile his slalus, harsh lreal-
menl vas commonplace; he
reporled having been bealen
several limes, and his ribs vere
broken. Whal he did nol discuss
vas having his eyes sevn open
somelhing he brieíly menlioned
lo his palienls aíler lhe var.
Wilh lhe arrival oí lhe American
and English íorces, lhey vere
laken lo a displaced persons
camp. Il is nol knovn hov his
viíe and molher came lo be
boarded vilh him on lhe Muir
bound lo America in Ip,I.
Upon arriving in America,
Waller served as a residenl and
admilling physician al Sl. Peler's
(vhere he inlerned), as vell as
Cumberland and Williamsburg
hospilals in Brooklyn. Upon
oblaining his slale license in
Ip,¸, he moved lo Ohio, vhere
he inlerned al Williamsburg.
Aíler several years, he moved
lo Unadilla, N.Y. Wilh lhe loss
oí Weedsporl's physicians Dr.
Goodvin and Dr. Kemplon,
Waller came lo Weedsporl in
Ip6o. The move alloved him lo
be closer lo his son, vho vas al-
lending college in Nev York Cily.
Dr. Prok served as Weedsporl's
school physician íor many years
and buill a large general praclice
al Weedsporl, vilh his viíe han-
dling lhe clerical aspecls oí lhe
oííice. He vas knovn lo consull
his reíerence books in íronl oí his
palienl, kepl his doors open aíler
hours, and even made house calls
- a bygone era in medicine.
I vas over|oyed lo discover
lhal our local physician and his
devoled viíe leíl several endov-
menls íor scholarships lo help
lhe nexl generalion oí physi-
cians. A reviev oí his eslale pa-
pers shovs his insighl included
requesling lhal all laxes and íees
be paid by lhe eslale lo eliminale
burden lo lhe recipienl. His es-
lale beneíiled lhe Shevchenko
Scienliíic Sociely, lhe Ukrainian
Eree Universily, and lhe Ukraini-
an Medical Associalion oí Norlh
America, vhich vas lhe only or-
ganizalion lo reply lo my inquiry.
UMANA received, aíler íees,
s((,¸88 as parl oí lhe Dr. Waller
and Olga Prokopiv Scholarship
Endovmenl Eund. Their gener-
ous giíl gave UMANA lhe abilily
lo oííer scholarships íor lhe íirsl
lime in ils hislory. The scholar-
ship is avarded lo medical as
vell as denlal sludenls. Since
il vas eslablished in zoo6, lhe
scholarships have been avarded
lo sludenls írom lhe slales oí
Wisconsin, Caliíornia, Illinois
and Nev York, said Execulive
Direclor Dr. George Hrycelak.
Doc Prok vas our íamily
physician vhen I vas a child.
While his var experience leaves
us vanling lo knov more, de-
spile his hardships, lhis humble
man conlinued lo give back lo
humanily. Waller died in zooI
and is buried al lhe Holy Spiril
Ukrainian Calholic Cemelery in
Campbell Hall, N.Y.
Duwn Roc ís lístoríun [or tlc víl-
lugc o[ Port Byron unJ u mcmlcr o[
tlc Owusco Cluptcr Duugltcrs o[
tlc Amcrícun Rcvolutíon. Slc cun
lc rcuclcJ ut lcututuncQtJs.nct
or www.portlyronlístory.com.
Provlded
The USS Gen. C. H. Muir, a General G.O. Squier-class transport ship for
the U.S. Navy in World War II, was built in 1944 by Kaiser Shipbuilding
of Richmond, Calif. She brought soldiers to Pearl Harbor, and later trans-
ferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service, bringing thousands of
refugees of the war to America. The Prokopiw family were among the
displaced persons of Bremerhaven, Germany who were brought to the
port of New York by the Muir on May 17, 1931.
The Citizen, Auburn, New York Sunday, February 17, 2013