In Remembrance: Joseph Chomyn ’53Dra Died on March 11 2019

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Joseph Chomyn, 93, born in Rochester, New York, on November 7, 1925, to Kyrillo and Yadowkia Chomyn, passed away in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, on Monday, March 11, 2019.  His wife of 61 years, Anita, predeceased him by 20 months.

Joe grew up during the Great Depression, was the youngest of five siblings born to immigrant parents, and was the first in his family to be born in a hospital; he also was first to complete college, but dropped out of high school to enlist in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He completed his GED, used the GI Bill to attend Center College, then earned his BFA from Drake University, and an MFA from the Yale Drama School.

Joe began his career in theater, but soon moved into the emerging television industry. He was an assistant director and a floor manager, then began directing live commercials.  He directed documentaries for CBS News, and was most proud of his subsequent work directing the television coverage for John F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign.

After Kennedy’s election, Joe returned to Manhattan where he and Anita were living, and began work with Captain Kangaroo. He then moved on to direct soap operas, including As the World Turns, The Edge of Night, The Guiding Light, Another World, and Somerset.

In his retirement, Joe spent most of his time in Freeport, Maine, greatly enjoying work in the stockroom and as a “greeter” at the LL Bean flagship store. During those years, the joy of his life was spending time with his grandchildren, watching them sail on Casco Bay, and reaping the benefits of recipes cooked up in the kitchen with grandma.  His five grandchildren were his pride and joy.

Joe is survived by his son, Dr. John Chomyn, his wife June, and their children, Mallerie and Claire; and his son, Chris Chomyn and his wife Lindsay, and their daughters, Anneke and Alexis.  Joe’s grandson, Joey, was a sailor, scholar, and musician, predeceasing his grandfather by seven months.

—Submitted by the family.

1 remembrance

  • mary-helen washington
    mary-helen washington, 2:12pm May 23 2021 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I remember Joe Chomyn for his direction of the CBS workshop series, especially the dramatization of Paule Marshall's novel Brown Girl, Brownstones, with Ossie Davis and Cicely Tyson in the cast. I am working on a biography of Paule Marshall and would love to know if Joe kept a copy of that film or talked about it in an interview or article. This was a groundbreaking production, the first time a book by a black author was filmed in the series. I would love to know more about his work. mary-helen washington

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