The Very Rev. Boris Symeonoff

The Very Rev. Boris Symeonoff, pastor emeritus of Saint Nicholas Church here, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, January 4, 2007.

Father Boris was born in Kronstadt, Russia, on August 5, 1911. Eight years later, he fled with his family to Estonia, which was at that time an independent Baltic country. Subsequently, he left Estonia for France where, from 1931 to 1934, he studied at the University of Paris.

From 1934 to 1938, he studied at Saint Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute, Paris. In 1943, he returned to Estonia, where he married Olga Vasilievna Pytel. He was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood the same year, after which he served as a “supply priest” in Estonia. From 1944-1951, he served churches and refugees in Thessaloniki and Piraeus, Greece. He returned to France In 1951 and served at Saint Sergius Institute Church, Russian retirement homes, and Saint Seraphim of Sarov Church, Chelles.

Knowing of the Symeonoffs’ interest in serving in the US, the late Bishop John (Shahovskoy) of San Francisco contaced them in France, and they were subsequently received into the Metropolia, as the Orthodox Church in America was known at that time. In 1957, Father Boris was assigned first permanent rector of the recently established Saint Nicholas Church, San Anselmo, CA. He faithfully served the community until his retirement in June 1987.

Among his many accomplishments, Father Boris was responsible for the building of the parish’s new church in 1968.

Father Boris is survived by one daughter, Anna Riazance, and her husband Andre, who cared for him until the moment of his peaceful repose.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, January 8, at Saint Nicholas Church, 102 Ross Avenue, San Anselmo, CA, at 7:00 p.m. The Divine Liturgy and Litya will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 9, at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be in the Serbian Cemetery.

May Father Boris’ memory be eternal!