The Very Rev. Constantin Tofan, 82, a well known priest of the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America, fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, October 19, 2006 in a Denver hospital after a recent illness.
Born on February 14, 1924 in Galati, Moldavia, Romania, where he studied at Saint Andrei Theological Seminary, Galati, Moldavia, Romania for six years. In 1959 he immigrated to the US, eventually becoming an American citizen. From 1959 until 1963 he studied at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, New York, NY. He also pursued additional training as an IBM programmer.
In 1959 he married the former Suzanne Ruth Wells, who ministered together with him and was especially active in the field of Christian education. He was ordained to the holy priesthood by His Eminence, Archbishop Valerian [Trifa] at Saint Dumitru Church, New York, NY, in 1963, after which he was assigned pastor of Saint Nicholas Church, Regina, SK, Canada. In 1966 he was named pastor of Saint George Church, Canton, OH. While in Canton, he served as president of the Eastern Orthodox Council, chairman of the Ecumenical Confrontation Committee, and chaplain to the local police department.
He served as dean of Saint George Cathedral, Southfield, MI from 1983 until his retirement in 1991. He also served as dean of the Romanian Episcopate’s Michigan/Eastern Canada Deanery.
For many years, Father Constantin served as national spiritual advisor for the American Romanian Orthodox Youth. After his retirement, he was named chairman of the Department of Missions of the Romanian Episcoapte and served as the Episcopate’s representative on the OCA Department of Evangelization.
Father Constantin received numerous ecclesiastical and secular awards in recognition of his outstanding ministry. He was elected to the rank of archpriest by His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel [Popp] in 1991.
Father Constantin was preceded in death by his wife, Preoteasa Suzanne. He is survived by two children, Marlene and Steven, and a number of grandchildren.
On Monday and Tuesday, October 23-24, Father Constantin will lie is state at Saint George Cathedral, Southfield, MI, with visiting hours each day from 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. Memorials will be celebrated each day at 7:30 p.m.
On Wednesday, October 25, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Rite of Burial of a Priest at 10:00 a.m. A mercy meal will be held at 1:00 p.m., followed by interment at Saint Mary Cemetery, Vatra Romaneasca, Grass Lake, MI, at 4:00 p.m.