The Archpriest John Voytilla, 71, rector of Holy Transfiguration Church here, fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, July 21, 2008.
Born on January 1, 1937 in Campbell, OH, he graduated from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA in May 1959 and was married to the former Anna Timpko the following month. He was ordained by His Eminence, Archbishop Dimitry [Magan] of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, to the diaconate at St. Barbara Church, Cassville, NJ, on August 26, 1959, and to the priesthood at the Nativity of the Theotokos Church, Cassville, NJ, the following day. He served several parishes in Ohio and Pennsylvania before his assignment to Christ the Saviour Church, Byesville, OH, in 1968. In 1984, he was assigned rector of Holy Transfiguration Church, Steubenville, OH, where he served until the time of his repose.
Father John was active in numerous community ministries and organizations. For many years he served as a member of the board of directors for the Salvation Army. A genuine “people person,” he constantly pursued helping others and was well known for bring humor into their lives, whether it be in working at a soup kitchen, socializing with heart patients, or visiting friends at local restaurants or businesses—always wearing his “signature” kamilavka. He left an indelible stamp on everyone he met. Passionate about his faith and the Church, he was never afraid to speak up on controversial issues. He supported the pro-life movement and attended numerous local and national pro-life celebrations. He was a leader in the pan-Orthodox community, placing the faith above ethnicity, as reflected in the parishes he served, which included faithful of Slovak, Russian, Romanian, Greek, Serbian, Albanian, Lebanese, and other heritages. He revealed his passion for life through singing, traveling, gardening, cooking, and grandparenting. His love for people, however, was obvious to all who knew him.
For his years of faithful pastoral service, Father John received numerous clerical awards, including the right to wear the nabedrenik, skufia, kamilavka, and gold cross; elevation to the rank of archpriest; and the right to wear the jeweled cross and palitza. At the time of his repose, he and his wife were anticipating the celebration of the 50th anniversary of his ordination in 2009.
Father John is survived by his wife, Matushka Anna; his son John and his wife Enid and his grandsons Jonathan and Alexander, St. Charles, IL; and his son Nicholas and his wife Cindy, Mingo Junction, OH. His third son, Andrew, fell asleep in the Lord in 1983. He is also survived by his sister Olga and sister-in-law Joann, both of the Youngstown, OH area. In addition to his immediate family, he leaves many godchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and faithful parishioners.
Funeral services will be celebrated on Friday evening, July 25, at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 300 South 4th St, Steubenville, OH, at 7:00 p.m., after visitation throughout the day. On Saturday, July 26, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at Holy Transfiguration Church, Steubenville, OH at 10:00 a.m. His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, locum tenens of the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania, will preside. Following a repast, interment will take place at Saint John the Baptist Cemetery, Campbell, OH.
May Father John’s memory be eternal!