Cover photo for Varvara Zakharchenko's Obituary
Varvara Zakharchenko Profile Photo
1927 Varvara 2021

Varvara Zakharchenko

April 14, 1927 — March 16, 2021

Varvara Zakharchenko, was born into an Orthodox farming family on April 14, 1927 in the village of Velikaya Glumcha, Ukrainian Republic, USSR. Her father, Semyon Zakharchenko, and mother, Alexandra Yatsenko, had 5 children: two sons, Andrey and Kirill, and three daughters, Varvara, Olga, and Eva. Her parents were hardworking, friendly, and God-fearing.

After the October Revolution in 1917, Soviet power was established and her parents voluntarily gave their land and a farm with livestock to the state. The political situation in the country was not stable at that time. Varvara was 8 years old when the military arrived at night and took her father away without telling a reason. Only after the death of Stalin and Beria, in 1954 a letter came about his innocence. In 2012, Varvara and her daughter Liudmila were allowed to read her father's file in the archive, where it was said that he was accused as an enemy of the people and shot in Zhitomir after a year of torture. Surprisingly, knowing his innocence, he signed a consent to save his family from exile in Siberian camps. Her mother, Alexandra, was a God-fearing woman, despite the tragedy with her husband, she didn’t sow evil and hatred of power in the hearts of children. She taught how to hard work, be kind and forgiving. At that time, Varvara was going to school, helping her mother with the housework and looking after her younger sisters.

Varvara was 14 years old when the World War II began in 1941, she managed to finish only 4 classes by then. These were the difficult years of the occupation by fascist troops. In 1942, when her brother, Andrei, turned 17, he was forcibly driven to Germany by soldiers and returned home only in 1954. The liberation of villages and cities by Soviet troops from the fascist invaders began in 1943-44. Brother Kirill was drafted into the Soviet army to the front when he turned 18 in 1945 and he returned home only 7 years later. In their village there were left only women, children and one old man without a leg. Varvara remembers how her and her sisters’ legs were swollen from hunger. They lived in dugouts because all the houses were burned down. It took 10 years for the liberated territory to be restored from ruins and ashes. Thanks to people like mother Alexander, Varvara and her sisters. They didn’t have a carefree childhood, the burdens of war - hunger, cold and hard physical labor - fell on their shoulders, but these circumstances didn’t deprive them of their faith in God and the loving, caring, compassionate hearts that they passed on to their children. And although the family was deprived of care, protection and love from the earthly father, but not from the Heavenly Father. In their house, in the morning and in the evening, prayers were raised to Heaven by mother Alexandra, and then by the matured Varvara and her sisters.

Lacking male support, Varvara, as the eldest daughter, shared the concerns of the family with her mother. She helped to get food, pay taxes, she had to work tirelessly at various jobs in the countryside. Her mother told her: “You should have been born a boy” as she was brave, decisive, persistent, inventive, and could do everything with her own hands. In 1956, Varvara went to work in the Donbass in order to remove the payment of the large taxes from her mom’s land. She, like her father, was very sacrificial and never complained. The Lord gave her wisdom and patience to get through difficult times. She worked in the mine for 15 years mining coal underground.

In 1965, Varvara's only daughter, Liudmila, was born. It was a joyous event in her life. Unfortunately, the atheistic system influenced her daughter's faith, she stopped believing in God. Her daughter was already married and had 2 children when she opened her heart to Christ. It was through the truth of the Sabbath and the evangelical program that she attended in the SDA church. After 10 years of her daughter's prayers and Varvara’s independent Bible studies she made a public decision to accept Jesus as her personal Savior. It happened during her grandson baptism. Varvara felt the Lord's call to make a covenant with Him. She served God with all her heart, her daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren, as well as her neighbors taking care of the needy and the poor. She was a missionary wherever she went. She spoke about the love of Christ and directed people to Him. Her whole life was a testimony of God's amazing love for her, especially during the most difficult periods of her life and how the Lord protected and supported her. She always would say that Christ is my Hope and with these words she passed away hoping for the promise of resurrection at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Varvara died Tuesday, March 16, 2021, at the age of 93, while visiting her granddaughter, Anastasia Ronenko, in Berrien Springs. Allred Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Messages may be left at

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Fairplain Seventh-day Adventist Church

140 Seneca Road, Benton Harbor, MI 49022

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