Thursday, April 5, 2012


Constantine Pereyma was born July 14, 1919 in his parents’ home in the small village of Ropicia Ruska (now Ropicia Polska) in the Carpathian Mountains of southern Poland. He was an ethnic Ukrainian from the Lemko region. As a young teenager he was sent away to school in the city and eventually entered the University of Cracow in the School of Physical Education. He was there when the Second World War began. He moved west to Munich in Bavaria, Germany, and entered Dental School. His name was found on a list in the pocket of a man arrested by the Gestapo and he in turn was arrested and imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp. He was moved to the prison in the courtyard of Gestapo Headquarters in Munich to cut and replace glass shattered by Allied air raids. By the end of the war he was forced to defuse unexploded Allied bombs. After the war he completed his dental training and then enrolled in medical school in Erlangen, Germany where he met his wife Armenia (Aka). After medical school they emigrated to the United States. He paid for their passage by working as a dentist aboard ship. He worked briefly in Buffalo, New York, and then entered medical residency at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. There he worked with Dr. Clarence Dennis on improvements to the heart/lung machine. After he completed a double residency he worked briefly for the Veterans Administration and then moved to Troy with his wife and three children to join the practice of Dr. Kenneth Lowry. They arrived here in 1959 with a station wagon and little else.

When he started practice in Troy, General Surgery encompassed almost everything except the heart and brain. He performed many orthopedic surgeries, using some of the first orthopedic rods and nails. He performed many cancer operations. He took particular pride in doing what had not been done here before and in doing what others said could not be done. A barber once came to him with a problem that other doctors said was terminal. Dr. Pereyma told him otherwise, and the barber cut his hair once a week over the next twenty years.

Dr. Pereyma encouraged and supported his wife in her art. With his son, Marco, he was one of the founding shareholders of Troy Cable Television. He continued performing surgery until his retirement from practice in 1992.

Dr. Pereyma and his wife of over sixty years, Aka, raised three children in Troy. Their son Marco lives with his wife Agnes in Binic, France. They have five children: Pauline, with her daughter Eleanore; Marieanne, with her husband Louis de Lespinay and their children Alexander and Irene; Sophie with her son Vincent; and Constantine and Maximilien. Their daughter Barbara Farrara and her husband Scott of North Haledon, New Jersey have two daughters, Sophia and Jacqueline. Their daughter Christina O’Neal and her husband Robert of Troy, Ohio have three children, Maire, Timothy and Helen. He was preceded in death by his father, Timothy and mother, Sophia, his brothers Stanislaw and Eugene and his sister Irene.

University of Cracow, prior to WWII.

Testing the heart bypass machine in Brooklyn, NY.
Center, with Dr. Clarence Dennis on right. 

At my mother's wedding.

Makin' bubbles.

Reading the paper with me.

1 comment:

  1. Nice surprise to find these well written lines. Thanks Tim