Mariya Stetsa, 53, of Eddyville and formerly of the Ukraine, passed away Wednesday, July 10, 2013, at her home in Eddyville.
Mariya Stetsa, daughter of Yevstahiy and Yevgenia Stetsa, was born, Sept. 9, 1959, in Lviv, Ukraine. Maria was a graduate of the University of Food Industry and then taught classes at the university following her education. She married Roman Nahaylo and two sons were born to that union. They later divorced. Mariya moved to the United States in 1996 to seek a better life and future for her family. Initially, she spent a few months in the Chicago area, and then took the opportunity to care for Mrs. Jager in Eddyville. After Mrs. Jager passed away, Mariya went to work as a cook at Hunter’s Coffee Shop. Mariya married Tom Jager, Mrs. Jager’s son. Together, they started gardening and selling their produce and baked and canned goods at the farmer’s markets in Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Albia and Pella; Mariya also did event catering. Mariya and Tom eventually divorced, yet remained close companions. Mariya remained close to her family in the Ukraine, traveling home each winter to spend time with them. While visiting there she met Eleksandr Gumeniuk. They married, March 4, 2011, in Oskaloosa. They made their home in Eddyville and he joined her in her market gardening. Mariya loved growing and producing things, what started with her studies in Ukraine, continued to be her livelihood and her enjoyment. When it was suggested that she avoid the garden after her cancer treatments, she adamantly refused to sacrifice that part of herself. Mariya was an industrious and generous person, her concern for her family and her church in the Ukraine was always foremost on her mind, she sent supplies, clothing and money as she was able.
Mariya’s family includes her husband, Elekasander Gumeniuk, of Eddyville; her sons, Roman Nahaylo, of Lombard, Ill., and Vitaliy Nahaylo, of Lviv, Ukraine; two granddaughters: Mily and Lilya Nahaylo at home in Lviv; her mother, Yegenia Stetsa; two sisters: Luba and Irena; and two brothers: Ivan and Roman, all of the Ukraine.