In Memoriam: Mitered Archpriest John Nehrebecki

7 April 2018 • Paramus, NJ

With hope in the resurrection especially present in our hearts during this paschal season, we share the news of the repose of Alumnus Mitered Archpriest John Nehrebecki. Fr. John fell asleep in the Lord on Great and Holy Saturday morning, April 7, 2018.

Father John was pastor emeritus of Christ the Saviour Church, Paramus, NJ, which he and his beloved wife, Matushka Eugenia, founded and faithfully served until his retirement in 2003. He held a long association with St. Vladimir’s Seminary, where he was a former trustee and past-president of its Alumni Association. He attended St. Vladimir’s Seminary as a student from 1968-1970, and both his son and son-in-law were seminarians at St. Vladimir’s in the 1970s.

“He was a very generous supporter of the seminary, responding to its appeals and offering his time and talents where and when they were needed,” said Dr. David Drillock, seminary professor emeritus. “Known as a great preacher who would make any occasion an opportunity for preaching the Gospel of Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church, he also was a man of good works, helping not only those whom he personally knew, but also strangers in need from all walks of life.”

Dr. Drillock added that deans, professors, staff and students were always welcome to Fr. John’s parish of Christ the Saviour where, following a liturgical service, Fr. John and Matushka Eugenia would invite them to their home for continued fellowship.

“He was my former pastor, father, brother, and personal friend for over sixty-five years, and words alone cannot express the sadness that I feel in his passing. I will miss him very much.”

Fr. John was born as the eleventh child of Michael and Veronica Korsh Nehrebecki in Donora, PA on May 4, 1928, and was raised at Donora’s Saint Nicholas Church. After he completed studies at Donora High School, he enrolled in Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA, from which he graduated in 1950. He earned his undergraduate degree from Davis and Elkins College, Elkins, WV and a Masters in Russian Studies from City University of New York before completing course work at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and Fordham University, Bronx, NY, where he studied Russian Literature and History.

On May 22, 1952, he married the former Eugenia Yankovsky, daughter of the late Archpriest Elias and Matushka Euphrosina Trembach Yankowsky. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 4, 1952 at Saint Mary Church, Lynn, MA, after which he was assigned Rector of Saint Mary Church, Osceola Mills, PA. The following year he was assigned to Three Saints Church, Garfield, NJ, which he served until Christ the Saviour Church was planted. Through the years he had established nine additional parishes in New Jersey and New York state and the Orthodox Chapel at the US Military Academy, West Point, NY. For forty years he also served as Dean of the New Jersey Deanery. In 1970, he was among the members of the delegation who traveled to Moscow to receive the Tomos of Autocephaly granted to the Orthodox Church in America by the Russian Orthodox Church.

The Nehrebeckis raised six children and have numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Services and visitation will be held at Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church, 365 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey. On Monday, April 9, 2018 at 7 p.m. Vespers and Paschal Panikhida will be served. On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, visitation will be from 12 to 7 p.m. with a Paschal Funeral service beginning at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 9 a.m. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated. The interment will follow at p.m. at St. Tikhon's Monastery and Cemetery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Fr. John's memory to Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church, 365 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey 07652.

May Father John’s memory be eternal!

Sections of this article are reprinted from OCA.org and Legacy.com