On Wednesday, October 8, 2008, the Very Rev. Archpriest Basil Slimak, 73, fell asleep in the Lord after a battle with colon cancer.
Fr. Basil was born on Feb. 27, 1935, in Highland Park, MI, and grew up in the Detroit, MI, area. After graduating from the Detroit Institute of Technology and attending the Detroit College of Law, he went to St. Vladimir’s Seminary. He earned a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1964. That year, he was also ordained to the diaconate in March and the priesthood in May. In 1973, Fr. Basil received a Master of Divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary. He also held a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Fr. Basil served several parishes in Ohio, including St. Michael Orthodox Church in Robins, St. Peter and Paul Orthodox in Lore City, Elevation of the Cross Orthodox Church in Belle Valley, and Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Canton. Fr. Basil also served St. John Orthodox Church in Canonsburg, PA. Additionally, he ministered to the faithful at the former Cambridge State Hospital, Ohio University, the University of Ohio and Muskingum College. While serving as rector of St. Michael Church, the parish constructed Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church in Byesville, OH.
While at Holy Assumption Church, Fr. Basil served as a social worker and was then appointed as the State of Ohio’s first Eastern Orthodox Chaplain. In 1972, he began ministering to the mentally ill at Massillon State Hospital, where he built an Eastern Orthodox Chapel. Fr. Basil retired from Massillon State Hospital in 1996 and was most recently attached to St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Mogadore, OH.
Fr. Basil was predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Matushka Patricia Slimak, on Aug. 9, 2008, his sister, Sharon Dudaryk and his parents Nettie and Marion (Mike) Slimak.
He is survived by children, Deacon Samuel and wife Bonnie Slimak and Julie Diamond, all of Canton, OH, and Nadine Slimak and husband Kevin Lollar of Pine Island, FL. He is also survived by four granddaughters, two nieces and a nephew.
The funeral service for a priest was celebrated for Fr. Basil on the evening of Monday, October 13, 2008, at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Mogadore, OH. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated at St. Nicholas Church on the morning of Tuesday, October 14, followed by interment at St. Nicholas Cemetery in Green, OH.
May Fr. Basil’s Memory be eternal!