Mr. Paul Bojko, 86, died Aug. 29, 2023, on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Paul was born July 31, 1937, in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, to the late Gregor Bojko and the late Charytyna Zelynska Bojko.
In a 2016 letter, Paul recounts his early years. “When I was about six years old, German soldiers came to our family farm, loaded [us] into a truck. We were taken to Auschwitz. When my parents were healthy enough, we were moved by boxcars to a labor camp in Nuremberg. I remember always being hungry, cold, and so afraid. When the war ended, my father was dead. My mother became hospitalized. My brother and I were placed in a children’s home in Bad Aibling, Germany, where we had good care. In 1951, my brother and I were sent to the United States.”
Living with foster families in Baltimore County, Md., Paul met Diana Dement. They married in 1959 and created a joyful life and family together with three sons and many pets. They settled in Parkton, Md., until moving to Easton, Md., in 1976 and Trappe, Md., in 1985.
After serving in the military, Paul worked at Black & Decker for 40 years. Caring and resourceful, Paul could build and fix things and never hesitated to lend a hand to a neighbor. Though a quiet person, he could often be heard in lively “conversations” with pets and wildlife.
Paul took his family on memorable road trips, including to Chincoteague Island, where Paul and Diana moved in 2018. They relished their time together feeding birds, exploring nature trails, and watching polka dance on TV with a bowl of ice cream. Diana passed away in 2020.
Paul’s 2016 letter continued, “My life here has been good. I am thankful for the freedom this country has given me. If some had lived the life I did as a child of war, they might look at things differently.”
In a letter replying to Paul, President Obama said, “Stories like yours … underscore that we must continue to build a world where all people can live together in peace.” Paul shared his story in a 2017 documentary video for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Paul is survived by his sons, Greg Bojko, of Chincoteague Island, Richard Bojko, of Tacoma, Wash., and Scott Bojko, of Memphis, Tenn.; and brother, Victor Bojko, of Mt. Gretna, Pa.
The family suggests any remembrances be made to Razom (“together” in Ukrainian) at www.razomforukraine.org or Razom, Inc., P.O. Box 24150, New York, N.Y. 10087-4150. Online condolences can be given at www.salyerfh.com Services were entrusted to Salyer Funeral Home, Inc.