The Very Rev. John Rachko, who in retirement was attached to Saint James Mission here, died on Sunday, February 29, 2004.
Born July 17, 1926 in Maizeville, PA, Father Rachko received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Great Lakes College, Detroit, MI before enrolling in and graduating from Saint Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA. On September 2, 1950, he married the former Irene Papinsick. Prior to his ordination to the Holy Diaconate and Priesthood in 1950 he served as choir director at Saint John the Baptist Church, Signac, NJ.
From 1950 until 1956 he served as rector of Holy Ghost Church, Detroit, MI. He also served Holy Ghost Church, Ambridge, PA from 1956 until 1962 and Saint John the Baptist Church, Edwardsville, PA from 1962 until 1970, when he took a leave of absence to work as a vocational rehavilitation counselor with addicts, alcoholics, the mentally impaired and the physically handicapped. During this time he also served as a supply priest in various parishes throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and Connecticut.
In 1972 he was assigned rector of Saint John the Baptist Church, Alpha, NJ. The following year he was transferred to the pastorate of Saints Peter and Paul Albanian Orthodox Church, Philadelphia, PA, which he served until 1983, when he was assigned rector of Holy Trinity Church, Charleroi, PA. In 1991 he retired from active ministry and relocated to Port St. Lucie.
Father Rachko received numerous awards during his ministry, including elevation to the rank of archpriest in 1965 and the right to wear the palitza in 1984.
Funeral services will be held at 6:00 p.m. at Saint James Mission, Port St. Lucie, FL on Wednesday, March 3. Additional services will be held at 10:00 a.m. at the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, South Canaan, PA on Saturday, March 6, followed by interment in the monastery cemetery.
Father Rachko is survived by his wife, Irene, children, and grandchildren.
May Father Rachko’s memory be eternal!