Born in 1916 in the village of Ivaniwtciw to Ivan and Anna Bohdan, Sophia left her family and her village, voluntarily, with a group who in 1943 predicted the return of the Soviets, and wanted to safeguard as much of their possessions as they could. The group went to Czechoslovakia where they were caught by the Germans. Sophia was sent to work on a glass factory called 'Sigla Werke' in the Nabburg area in Germany. After the war she moved to the Vilseck DP camp where she met and married Ivan Shymkiw and where a son, Volodymyr, was born. Sophia and her family emigrated to Columbus in Ohio in October 1949.