Peter Melnik, 88, a well-known layman and alumnus of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, May 12, 2019.
Born on July 12, 1930 to John and Anastasia Melnik, Peter attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT], from which he graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. He also received two Master of Divinity degrees, one from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary in 1959 and a second from Harvard University in 1962. Through the years he had been employed by DuPont, Shell, American Cyanamid and Hercules, Inc., where he developed an expertise in the manufacture of polypropylene resins. He used his theological education as a lay leader in the Orthodox Church in America, as President of the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs [FROC]—today’s Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America [FOCA]. For many years, he edited the FROC Journal, contributing influential articles on Orthodox Christianity in America. A gifted writer and speaker, he strongly advocated for the education and participation of the laity in the life of the Church. Although his life revolved around the Church and his family, he also contributed time to a variety of other community organizations.
Peter is survived by his wife of 63 years, Elizabeth [Kuchta], and their three children: Philip, Voorheesville, NY [Kit Yezzi], Alexandra, Carlisle, PA [Paul Makosky], and Vladimir, Wilmington, DE [Susan Melnik]. He also leaves four grandchildren, Herman, Xenia, Juliana, and John.
Funeral services were celebrated at Saint Michael the Archangel Church, Wilmington, DE on Saturday, May 18. Interment will be held at Saint Mary Orthodox Church Cemetery, Chambersburg, PA, on Monday, May 20 at 11:00 a.m.
May Peter’s memory be eternal!