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The Very Rev. Dr. Michael G. Kovach • 1919-2013

The Very Rev. Dr. Michael G. Kovach, of Millersville, died Friday, July 12, 2013, at Mount Joy Hospice and Community Care. He was 94.

A native of St. Clair, PA, he enjoyed a duel career during his lifetime.  Ordained in 1943, he was a priest of the Orthodox Church of America for 69 years and also spent 26 years on the faculty at Millersville University.

Following his graduation from Columbia University in 1942 and from St. Vladimir’s Seminary and his ordination, he was a priest of the Orthodox Church of America ever since.  He was granted the prestigious St. Innocent Award for his work in the church. This work included serving for 14 years as spiritual advisor of a national church related fraternal society – the Orthodox Society of America – for which he regularly wrote religious articles.

In early 1944, he served as a chaplain in the United States Army for two and one-half years. Ten years after the war, while assigned to the parish in Ambridge, PA, he earned his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh. He came to Millersville College in 1959, and as the local co-chairperson, he engineered the conversion of Millersville from a state teacher’s college to a liberal arts college in 1962. In this conversion, he personally established two degree programs, one in Philosophy and the other in Russian Studies. When Dr. Kovach retired from Millersville University, he was serving as Dean of the Graduate School.

Other community involvement included 20 years of service on Channel 12’s board of trustees, two terms on Governor Thornburg’s Pennsylvania Heritage Commission and two years as president of the now defunct Cliosophic Society of Lancaster, PA.

Son of the late George and Mary Fatula Kovach, he was happily married for 67 years to Olga A. Hubiak who died March 8, 2011.

Survivors include his daughter, Helene Dmochowski; his grandson, Ivan and his wife Jane and their two children, Oliver and Penelope; his granddaughter Sasha Dmochowski; a sister, Verna Papinchak; sisters-in-law, Marge Kovach and Jean Kovach; brother-in-law, the Very Rev. Daniel Hubiak and his wife Dunia; sisters-in-law, Ann Hubiak and Eva Hubiak; and several nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

Zimmerman-Auer is handling funeral arrangements.

There will be a special service for priests, with the public invited, Sunday, July 14, at 6:00 p.m., with a viewing from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Christ The Saviour Orthodox Church, 5501 Old Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17109.  A church service will be held Monday, July 15, 9:00 a.m., with a viewing from 8:00-9:00 a.m., at the church.  Following the service, interment will be at St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, PA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to establish a religious education fund to the Rev. Stephen Vernak, pastor of Christ The Saviour Orthodox Church, 5501 Old Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17109.

 


 

Sunday, July 14
Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church
5501 Old Locust Lane
Harrisburg, PA 17109

Viewing from 4-6pm
Priest Funeral Service at 6pm

 Monday, July 15
Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church
5501 Old Locust Lane
Harrisburg, PA 17109

Viewing from 8-9am
Divine Liturgy w. Litya at 9am

Interment at St. Tikhon Monastery to follow at approximately 1:30-2pm

[CLERGY: All clergy are invited to service, please email Fr. Stephen Vernak at svernak@hotmail.com, to help us in our preparations. Please bring white vestments]


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