Obituary of Roman Ostapiak
Roman Ostapiak, 85, of Pine Brook, NJ, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on Monday, January 15, 2024. He was born on March 13, 1938, in Lysecz, Ukraine to Mykola and Paraskevia Ostapiak. At age 11, he immigrated with his family to the United States, settling in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
Roman received a scholarship from the University of Pennsylvania and started his studies there in the fall of 1957. At only 160 pounds, he played both center and line-backer on the freshman football team. At the end of the season, he was given the Outstanding Freshman Player of the Year award. In later years, he was an All-Time Penn Sprint Football Letterwinner (1959-1960) and All-Time Sprint Football Captain (1960) and named to the All-American Lightweight Football Team (1961). Roman’s academic achievements included membership in Eta Kappa Nu and Tau Beta Pi national electrical engineering honor societies, and the Hexagon Senior Honor Society. He was also a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and elected to the Moore and Towne Councils student government of the engineering schools. In 1961 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and was awarded the A. Atwater Kent Prize as the most promising Electrical Engineer.
Upon graduation, Roman went to work for Bell Laboratories who sponsored his study for a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering earned from New York University in 1963.
During his long career at Bell Laboratories, Roman was engaged in the design of power-conditioning circuits, power equipment & transmissions systems and rose to the position of Department Head of various technical teams. During his career at Bell Labs, he was named inventor on 3 patents. He later helped with the production of a new wireless base station, retired from Lucent Technologies, and briefly consulted on other projects.
Roman was an extraordinary man. In his quiet and unassuming way, he was a pillar of strength, who was generous with his time and always put others first. Roman was the heart of his family, and greatly enjoyed hosting holidays and frequent get-togethers. He could surprise you with his understated sense of humor or a fast polka on the dance floor. Above all else, he was a devoted father to his daughters who were his first and greatest priority. Forever grateful, his daughters feel extremely blessed to have received his unconditional love and support.
Roman’s favorite memories included a cross country road trip with his family and intercepting the football to score the winning touchdown for University of Pennsylvania against Cornell. He was resourceful and inquisitive; he enjoyed tackling new challenges, such as honing his cooking skills for the gourmet cooking club dinners or tackling numerous house renovation projects. His hobbies included photography, gardening, sudoku puzzles, playing cards and miles-long daily walks. Roman was a faithful member of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church for over 60 years.
Roman is survived by his daughters Christine Ostapiak, Larysa Atzl and her husband Andrew, and Natalie Ostapiak; and their mother Luba Ostapiak. He is also survived by his siblings Maria Shtohryn, Oksana Prus, and Walter Ostapiak, numerous nieces and nephews, and 5 grand cats & kittens. Roman was predeceased by his parents and his sister Yaroslawa Luchechko.
Family and friends are welcome to gather at the Burroughs, Kohr & Dangler Funeral Home in Madison, NJ, on Friday, January 19, 2024, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. A funeral service will be held at St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Newark on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at 9:30am, followed by interment at the St Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Cemetery in Bound Brook, NJ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in his memory be made to St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Newark, NJ, The Ukrainian Museum in New York, or St. Jude’s Childrens Research Hospital.
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