Lydia Shaternik

March 18, 1930 - Oct. 27, 2017
Lydia Shaternik, March 18, 1930 - Oct. 27, 2017

Lydia Shaternik, who first came to Montauk when she married a Russian whose family lived there, died on Friday of complications from a gastrointestinal illness at Southampton Hospital. She was 87.

She and her husband, Theodore Shaternik, spent time on weekends and in the summers in Montauk, but did not live there year round until 1976. Once there, Ms. Shaternik quickly became involved in the community, working at the Montauk Community Church rummage sales and holiday fairs, becoming a member of the Friends of the Montauk Library, and volunteering at Meals on Wheels. She also contributed to church sales by becoming a plant propagator and selling the baby plants there.

Lydia Shaternik was born in Garfield, N.J., on March 18, 1930, one of two children of the former Yevdokia Pilipichuk and Paul Daviduk, immigrants from Russia. Her parents took her and her brother back to their farm in Russia when she was about 2, and they lived there for five years before returning to Garfield, where she stayed until age 18, at which point she moved to New York City. 

She worked there for a silk hosiery company that was at the top of the Empire State Building. On weekends, knowing that she would need a wardrobe, Ms. Shaternik worked at B. Altman and Company on Fifth Avenue in Midtown, her daughter Lydia Shaternik Burns said.

She did not, however, spend all her time working, but also attended a Russian social club in the city, where she met her future husband, marrying him on Sept. 25, 1954. They lived in College Point, Queens, for five years until he became a New York City fireman. They then moved to Arrow Park (American Russian Organized Workers), what began as a Russian agricultural community in Monroe, N.Y., and where they reared their three daughters.

Ms. Shaternik had a huge organic farm there that fed the family. Once the children were a bit more independent, she decided to finish her education and earned first a bachelor’s degree in education at the State University at New Paltz and then two master’s degrees as well, one in Russian, her first language, and one in childhood education. She taught elementary special education in Monroe.

Ms. Shaternik’s husband died in June 2015. Her brother, Walter Daviduk of Colorado, also died before her. In addition to Ms. Shaternik Burns, who lives in Montauk, her two other daughters, Evonne Shaternik of East Hampton and Eileen Devlin of Montauk, survive, as do four grandchildren.

She was cremated. On Saturday at 3 p.m., the Rev. Bill Hoffmann will preside at a memorial service at the Montauk Community Church. The family plans to bury her ashes at a future date. They have suggested memorial donations to the Montauk Community Church, P.O. Box 698, Montauk 11954.