Archpriest Michael Kovach

Archpriest Dr. Michael G. Kovach, 94, who in retirement was attached to Christ the Saviour Church, Harrisburg, PA, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday morning, July 12, 2013 at Mount Joy Hospice and Community Care.

Born to the late George and Mary Fatula Kovach in St. Clair, PA, he was a 1942 graduate of Columbia University, New York, and the last surviving member of the first graduating class of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary in 1943.  After his marriage to the former Olga A. Hubiak, who fell asleep in the Lord on March 8, 2011, he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, going on to serve the Orthodox Church of America for 69 years.  He also spent 26 years on the faculty at Millersville University.

In early 1944, he served as a chaplain in the United States Army for two and one-half years. Ten years after World War II, while serving Holy Ghost Church, Ambridge, PA, he earned his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh. He came to Millersville College in 1959, and as the local cochairperson, he engineered the conversion of Millersville from a state teacher’s college to a liberal arts college in 1962. In this conversion, he personally established two degree programs, one in Philosophy and the other in Russian Studies. At the time of his retirement from Millersville University, he was serving as Dean of the Graduate School.

Other community involvement included 20 years of service on Channel 12’s board of trustees, two terms on Governor Thornburg’s Pennsylvania Heritage Commission, and two years as president of the now defunct Cliosophic Society of Lancaster, PA.  For 14 years, he served as spiritual advisor for the Orthodox Society of America and regularly wrote articles for the fraternal’s publications.  He received numerous Church-related honors, including the prestigious Saint Innocent Award, in recognition of his outstanding ministry.

Survivors include his daughter, Helene Dmochowski; his grandson, Ivan and his wife Jane and their two children, Oliver and Penelope; his granddaughter Sasha Dmochowski; a sister, Verna Papinchak; sisters-in-law, Marge and Jean Kovach; brother-in-law, Archpriest Daniel Hubiak and his wife Dunia; sisters-in-law Ann and Eva Hubiak; and several nieces, nephews, and godchildren.

On Sunday, July 14, visitation will be held at Christ the Saviour Church, Harrisburg, PA, from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., at which time the Funeral Service for a Priest will be celebrated.  Visitation will resume at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, July 15, followed by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m.  Interment will follow at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Cemetery, South Canaan, PA.

In lieu of flowers, contributions for the establishment of a religious education fund may be sent to Christ The Saviour Church, 5501 Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17109.

May Father Michael’s memory be eternal!