In Memoriam: Mitchell Zunich

With faith in Christ and hope in the resurrection, we share news of the repose of St. Vladimir’s Seminary Trustee Emeritus Mitchell Zunich. Zunich, 93, died on the Feast of Holy Pascha, Sunday, April 19, at his home at St. Mary of the Woods Assisted Living in Avon, OH.

Zunich was born May 10, 1926 in Lorain, OH. He served with the US Army during World War II in the 357th Regiment of the 90th Infantry Division. During his service, he participated in the battles of Rhineland and Central Europe and received the European-African-Middle-Eastern Theater Ribbon with two Bronze Stars, a Good Conduct Medal, a WWII Victory Medal and an Occupation Medal for Germany. His division was awarded the Bronze Star and participated in the liberation of Flossenburg Concentration Camp. Zunich attended the Ohio State University where he earned a bachelor of science in accounting. He founded Mitchell Zunich & Co. Certified Public Accountants, retiring in 2001. He was active in the community, having served as an officer, president, and board member of many organizations including the Lorain Rotary Club, Lorain Salvation Army, Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority, the City Bank Co., Lorain Family YMCA, Clearview School Board, and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. In the 1990s, Mitchell and his wife, Violet, helped establish a scholarship for Serbian Orthodox seminarians at St. Vladimir’s so that no young Serbian Orthodox men would be turned away from becoming priests. Zunich was a member of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church in Lorain, the Serbian National Federation, the Ohio Society of CPAs, and the AICPA.

"Mitch was honored to be on the Seminary’s Board of Trustees," said fellow St. Vladimir's Trustee Emeritus Brian Gerich. "He served many years as one of the four Serbian trustees along with [Trustee Emeritus] Alex Machaskee, Leon Lysaght, and myself.

"During our 1990’s Capital Campaign, I asked Mitch to join with me in establishing endowments for scholarships for Serbian Orthodox students studying to become priests. He immediately accepted, and he and his beloved wife Violet added to their endowment regularly. Mitch was pleased to know that as students graduated they were debt free as they prepared for a lifetime of serving our Lord."

"I remember Mitch as a quiet, decisive, compassionate gentleman who was a staunch supporter of our Orthodox Christian faith and a great contributor of time, talent, and treasure to St. Vladimir's Seminary," added Alex Machaskee. "He was a founding contributor to Monastery Marcha in Richfield Ohio, a decorated veteran of World War II, and a highly esteemed civic leader."

Mitchell Zunich is survived by his sons, Mitch Zunich of Cleveland and Rob (Eva) Zunich of Avon Lake; grandchildren, Neven, Dane, Rada, and Mila Zunich; and sister, Sophie Tyrin of Chicago. Zunich was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Violet M. Zunich (née Kobac) on Sept 7, 2014; infant son, Nick Zunich, in 1959; parents, Nikola & Stanka Zunich (née Kunic); brothers, Demeter, George, Nick, and Mike Zunich; and sisters, Mildred Stamatis, Dorothy Kovan, Nellie Raynovich, and Mary Zunich.

Due to restrictions on social gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic, private family funeral services will be held. Hieromonk Nektarije Tesanovic of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church will preside with burial to follow in Elmwood Cemetery in Lorain. Memorial contributions may be made to St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, 3355 Grove Ave, Lorain, OH, 44055 or St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, 575 Scarsdale Rd, Yonkers, NY, 10707. Arrangements are under the direction of Gluvna-Shimo-Hromada Funeral Chapel, 3224 Broadway Ave, Lorain. Online condolences may be made at

May the memory of Mitchell Zunich be eternal!


(The photo and some information in this article have been reprinted from The Morning Journal.)

Third Annual Academic Symposium

Start Date

"I Saw the Lord" (Isa 6.1): Entangled Jewish and Christian Perspectives on the Encounter with God

Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) will hold its Third Annual Academic Symposium on November 13-15, 2024. 

This year’s symposium, titled “I Saw the Lord (Isa 6.1): Entangled Jewish and Christian Perspectives on the Encounter with God,” gathers leading Orthodox Christian and Jewish scholars from around the world, who will reflect on the manner in which theophanic texts—biblical accounts of Divine Revelation to the patriarchs and prophets—have always been and remain foundational to their respective doctrinal and spiritual traditions. For more details, see the Vision Statement.

The symposium will commence on Wednesday, November 13, at 6 p.m. (EST), in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium, with two keynote addresses.

  • His Eminence, Archbishop Alexander Golitzin (Emeritus Professor, Marquette University): 
    • “THEOPHANEIA: Studying Orthodox Theology with an Eye to Judaism?”
  • Rabbi Reuven R. Kimelman (Professor of Classical Judaica, Brandeis University):
    • How Do We Image an Imageless God?

The keynote addresses are open to the public and will be published on the SVOTS YouTube channel after the conclusion of the event.

Please register to attend the keynote addresses (in person or online) by clicking the button below.

Register for Keynotes

For more information on the remainder of the symposium, please visit our expanded event page here.

More info

Click here to download flyer

In Memoriam: Archpriest Elias Ziton


With faith in Christ and hope in the resurrection, we share news of the repose of Archpriest Elias Ziton, an alumnus and generous supporter of the St Vladimir’s Seminary. Fr Elias fell asleep in the Lord peacefully May 17, 2024, surrounded by his family, at the age of 84. He was pastor emeritus of St George Church of Phoenix, AZ.

"Abouna was loved by everyone that knew him for his unwavering faith, his care for others, and not least his rich and beautiful voice," said The Very Rev. Christopher Salamy, pastor of St George. "It was a joy for me to learn from him, to serve alongside him and to be loved by him. He will truly be missed by our entire parish family."

The Very Rev. Elias Ziton was born on April 19, 1940, to the late Elias and Julia Ziton in Toledo, OH. He was ordained to the holy priesthood in 1965 at the Archdiocese Convention in Boston, MA, the last priest ordained by Metropolitan Antony Bashir who reposed in the Lord six months later.

Fr Elias faithfully pastored St George Church in Cedar Rapids, IA; St George Church in Phoenix; and St Ignatius Church, in Mesa, AZ.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Kh. Lorraine, and his loving brothers Wasfey Ziton and The Very Rev. Fr. Theodore E. Ziton, who also attended St Vladimir’s Seminary (1951–1954).

Surviving Fr Elias are his children Michael (Feirouz), Deborah (Gray), and David (Nesrin); grandchildren Michael Elias Jr., Juliana Rose, Nina, Eli, Marina, and Paris Sophia; as well as cousins, nieces, nephews, godchildren, and many spiritual children.

Details regarding the funeral service and burial of Fr Elias may be found here at 

May the memory of Archpriest Elias be eternal!

*Information for this article has been adapted from

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