Obituary of Roman Wolodymyr Osadca
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It is with a heavy heart we share the loss of Roman Osadca, 71, of Johnsonburg, NJ. Roman passed away at his home with his loving family beside him on February 15, 2022, after a long battle with a rare form of lung cancer.
Born in Newark, NJ, to the late Myron and Bohdonna Osadca, Roman grew up in Trenton, Hamilton Township, NJ. He graduated valedictorian from Hamilton High School and attended Lafayette College, Easton, PA, with a BS in chemical engineering. He was employed with Hoffman-LaRoche in Belvidere and Nutley, NJ, for 35 years, retiring in 2008.
Upon retirement from Roche, Roman became a full time garlic expert, planting, harvesting and selling over 100 varieties. His expertise gained notoriety and respect among garlic lovers in the US and Canada. He and his farmer friend, Rich Sisti, started the Garden State Garlic growers and initiated the Garlic festivals in Sussex County, NJ.
Roman had a huge personality; he was simply larger than life. There wasn’t a challenge he wouldn’t take on, from building his own house, garlic farming to sky diving. An avid skier, Roman started and led an annual ski tour group to various Alpine destinations for over 45 years. During these trips, he accumulated a loyal following of skiers and good friends. Many attribute his gift to gab to his vast knowledge of many topics ranging from history to fashion and blending it with humor. Roman was never boring to be around; he radiated optimism and the joy of living.
Roman’s other passion was for beekeeping, which has been in his family for centuries back in Ukraine. He blended his talents as a beekeeper and garlic farmer and sold his products at various local and statewide farmers markets under the Valley Fall Farm name for the past 15 years.
Roman was a member of the Sussex County Beekeepers, Food Shed Alliance, Ridge & Valley Conservancy Trustee, Frelinghuysen and Hardwick Township Historical Societies and various Ukrainian business associations. Roman served the Frelinghuysen Township Zoning Board for over 10 years, first as a member then Chairman. He also belonged to St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Great Meadows.
Surviving is his wife of 40 years, Debra (Natyzak), sons Andy, Yuriy, his wife Courtney and grandson, Tyler.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit on Friday, February 18, 2022, from 4 -8:00 pm, prayer service at 7:00 pm , at Maguire-Scala Memorial Home, 124 High St, Hackettstown. On Saturday, there will be a Mass at 11:00 am at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, Rt. 46, Great Meadows, followed by interment at the Pequest Union Cemetery, Great Meadows.
Donations in Roman’s memory can be made to Allamuchy-Green First Aid Squad, 25 Maple Lane, Andover, NJ 07821 or St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church, PO Box 162, Great Meadows, NJ 07838.