On Sunday, March 23, 2008, Archpriest Eugene Vansuch, 66, of Easton, PA, died at his residence.
Fr. Eugene was born in Campbell, OH the son of the late Michael Vansuch and Mary (Racz) Vansuch of Campbell, OH.
He was a 1959 graduate of Memorial High School in Campbell, OH; he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Youngstown University in 1965 and later graduated from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY on June 3, 1967 with a Masters of Divinity Degree. He was also a member of the St. Vladimir’s Octet that traveled the country.
He was ordained to the priesthood March 12, 1967. He celebrated 41 years of priestly service this year.
Fr. Eugene’s pastoral assignments included parishes in Brooklyn, NY, Madison, IL, Winter Park, FL, Bridgeport, CT, Philadelphia, PA, Nanticoke, PA, and Bethlehem, PA. In Bethlehem, at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Fr. Eugene was instrumental in facilitating a major renovation project which saw new iconography throughout the church, the expansion of the temple, and the building of a new fellowship hall with a seating capacity of 300 people. Fr. Eugene’s current pastoral assignment was St. Vladimir Orthodox Church in Trenton, NJ.
In addition to his pastoral duties, Fr. Eugene served the Orthodox Church in America in many other capacities. He was the Executive Director of the Fellowship of Orthodox Stewards (FOS). For many years he was the national spiritual advisor for the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs, which later became Fellowship of Orthodox Christians. He was also a long-time member of St. Herman Seminary Board of Trustees.
He taught at St. Tikhon Orthodox Seminary in South Canaan, PA as a Senior Professor for many years, instructing Canon Law and Church History.
He also served on Local Brotherhood of Clergy as well as the Lehigh Valley Council of Churches.
Fr. Eugene was very active with clergy on local, Diocesan and national levels. He served on many committees such as the Diocesan Council, Metropolitan Council, Administrative Committee, Preconciliar Commissions and Deanery Committees.
He was also an avid sports fan, especially of the Cleveland Indians and Browns as well as Youngstown University and Ohio State University athletics. He particularly enjoyed watching his children play sports; following their achievements as they were growing up.
Fr. Eugene will be lovingly remembered by his family, his wife of 41 years Matushka Frances, sons, Basil (Katherine) of Vermont; Reverend Jason Vansuch (Katia) of Norwich, CT and Damian Vansuch (Anastasia) of Allentown, PA. He is also survived by his brother Nicholas Vansuch husband of Monica of Howland, OH and four grandchildren and another to be born soon as well as his aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, sister-in-law and brothers-in-law.
Funeral services for Fr. Eugene will take place at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Bethlehem, PA, Thursday, March 27 and Friday, March 28. On Thursday a visitation will be held at St. Nicholas Church from 4:30-6:30 p.m. with a funeral service to follow at 7:00 p.m. Another calling period will be held at the church on Friday March 28, 2008 from 9:00-9:45 a.m., with Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 10:00 a.m. The main celebrant a both services will be His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman. Interment will be at Union Cemetery of Hellertown, PA.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Vansuch family in care of Connell Funeral Home, Inc 245 E. Broad St. Bethlehem PA 18018 for future distribution to the churches he loved and served.