In Memoriam: The Very Rev. Victor Sokolov

SAN FRANCISCO, CA [OCA Communications]—The Very Rev. Victor Sokolov, dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral here, died of cancer at age 59 on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 12, 2006.

Born in Russia on February 21, 1947, Father Victor’s biography is too colorful and eventful to be told here in full. A longer biography will be made available on in the coming weeks.

Victor Sokolov was a dissident writer and human rights activist in the USSR. His writings, published in the underground “samizdat,” were smuggled to the West and broadcast back into the USSR via Radio Liberty and Voice of America. In 1975, he became an Orthodox Christian, and that same year he married an American, Barbara Wrahtz of Santa Cruz, CA, who had been working temporarily in Moscow.

Because of his anti-Soviet activities, Mr. Sokolov was forced to immigrate to the US, where he was reunited with his wife who was his true friend, companion, and the mother of their five children. Soon after his arrival in the US, the Soviet government took the extraordinary measure of stripping him of Soviet citizenship and banning him from ever returning to his homeland. He continued to write and also taught Russian language and literature at various colleges and universities.

In 1985, he graduated from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY. As an Orthodox priest, he served Holy Resurrection Church, Vancouver, BC, Canada; various missions; and SS. Peter and Paul Church, Buffalo, NY. In 1991, he was appointed dean of San Francisco’s historic Holy Trinity Cathedral. The greatest legacy of his pastorate, the longest in the cathedral’s history, is the atmosphere of mutual love and friendship that reigns in the parish.

Father Victor is mourned by his beloved wife of 31 years, Barbara, and their sons: the Rev. Deacon Kirill Sokolov and his wife, Sophia, with their child Nicholas; and Philip Sokolov and his wife Marie; and their daughters: Tamara, Anna, and Maria. In Russia, he is survived by his mother, Tamara, and his sisters, Adelia and Olga.

Donations to the Sokolov Family Fund will be gratefully received at Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1520 Green St., San Francisco, CA 94123.

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts will be celebrated at Holy Trinity Cathedral Wednesday evening, March 15, 2006, at 5:40 p.m. and will be followed by a Panikhida. The Burial Rite of a Priest will be sung at the cathedral on Thursday, March 16, at 9:00 a.m., followed by the funeral procession to Oak Mound Cemetery in Healdsburg.

May Father Victor’s memory be eternal!