Mr. Serge G. Troubetzkoy, 96, Archivist Emeritus of the Orthodox Church in America, died peacefully on Sunday, October 26, 2003.
For decades, Mr. Troubetzkoy faithfully served the Orthodox Church in America in many capacities, in addition to his work as OCA Archivist. He served as secretary to the late Metropolitan Ireney and retired Metropolitan Theodosius.
Born Prince Serge Grigorievich Troubetzkoy in Moscow, Russia on December 15, 1906, he was a member of one of Imperial Russian’s most illustrious noble families. He was the last survivor of the five sons of Prince Gregory Nikolayevich Troubetzkoy, Councilor of State, and Maria Constantinovna Bouteneff. Following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution that toppled the Czarist regime, the Troubetzkoys were forced to flee Russia, eventually settling in France. It was there that Mr. Troubetzkoy received his education, graduating from Grignon University as an agricultural engineer.
In 1933, he married Princess Lubov Alexeevna Obolensky in New York City, where the young couple soon settled. His professional career was largely devoted to the sale of farm machinery. During World War II, he was employed by the US State Department and sent abroad on loan to the French government as part of the Harriman Mission, assisting in plans for the country’s post-war agricultural reconstruction. After the war, he served in the US Air Force Reserve, retiring as a Major.
In 1950, the Troubetzkoys moved to Montreal, Quebec, where Mr. Troubetzkoy worked for a major agricultural machinery firm. He was also an active parish council member of Montreal’s Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, a member of the Archdiocesan Council, and the archdiocese’s lay representative to the OCA’s Metropolitan Council. He also served as lay vice-chairman of several All-American Sobors.
After his retirement from secular employment in 1970, Mr. Troubetzkoy was appointed Secretary to the late Metropolitan Ireney and manager of the OCA Chancery in Oyster Bay Cove (Syosset), NY. Eventually he assumed the functions of OCA Archivist. Upon the retirement of Metropolitan Ireney, he continued his service as secretary to Metropolitan Theodosius and in his other functions at the OCA Chancery. It was in his activities as a historian (particularly of his family’s legacy) and as OCA Archivist that his labors reached their fullest fruition. Deeply interested in the study and propagation of history throughout his life, he painstakingly and continuously compiled several chronicles of his family history, some now published in post-Soviet Russia, and also wrote and published many articles on Church history in both secular and religious periodicals. Additionally, his labors in organizing the OCA archives provided the foundation upon which the work of the OCA Department of History and Archives continues to this day.
Upon his retirement as secretary to the Metropolitan and OCA Archivist in 1983, “Mr.T,” as he was affectionately called by Chancery staff members, was named OCA Archivist Emeritus. Even in retirement, he continued his work in the archives on a part-time basis, providing invaluable assistance to the archives’ staff and sharing his vast knowledge and experience until 1997, when deteriorating health made his regular presence at the Chancery impossible. However, as his encyclopedic mind remained sharp almost to his final days, he continued to inspire and provide wise counsel to members of the Department of History and Archives.
On the occasion of his 85th birthday in 1991, Mr. Troubetzkoy was awarded the Order of St. Innocent by Metropolitan Theodosius in recognition of his long and faithful service to the Orthodox Church in America.
Mr. Troubetzkoy’s cheerful, humble and noble manner, his selfless willingness to assist in any situation, his intelligence, and his tact earned him the love and respect of many throughout the world. He was always willing to listen, treating everyone with equal respect. His kindness and gentility in all situations were truly inspiring. It can certainly be said that he was a man who had no enemies.
Mr. Troubetzkoy was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Luba, in 1991. He is survived by a son, Alexis, of Toronto, Ontario; two daughters, Elizabeth of London, Ontario and Mary of Glen Cove, NY; and six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services for Mr. Troubetzkoy will be held at Our Lady of Kazan Church, Sea Cliff, NY on Tuesday evening, October 28, at 7:00 p.m. On Wednesday, October 29, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the church at 9:00 a.m., followed by burial at Saint Tikhon Monastery Cemetery, South Canaan, PA.
May Mr. Troubetzkoy’s memory be eternal!