In Memoriam + The Very Rev. Macarius Targonsky (SVOTS '55)

Virginia Nieuwsma

In Memoriam + The Very Rev. Macarius Targonsky + September 4, 1929 – June 25, 2014

The Very Rev. Macarius Targonsky ( Very Rev. Macarius Targonsky ( Very Rev. Macarius Targonsky, a 1955 alumnus of St. Vladimir's Seminary, reposed in the Lord Wednesday, June 25, 2014, at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna, Alaska. He was 84 years old. Services were held on June 30 and July 1, with The Right Rev. David (Mahaffey), bishop of Sitka and Alaska, and other diocesan clergy presiding, and he was buried in the Holy Assumption Orthodox Church Cemetery in Kenai.

Father Macarius was born Sept. 4, 1929 in Meriden, CT. In 1952, he earned his Bachelor's Degree at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, WV, where he was a member and secretary of the Phi Alpha Theta Society. He studied at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary where he earned a diploma, and then completed his studies by graduating from Columbia University and earning a Master of Divinity Degree at St. Vladimir's Seminary, writing his thesis on the preaching of St. John Chrysostom.

"Mr. Targonsky has a real literary talent, as well as a keen understanding of the ideal of the Christian pastor and preacher," wrote St. Vladimir's Professor of Dogmatics Dr. Serge Verhovskoy, Fr. Macarius' thesis evaluator.

Years later, Fr. Macarius made a donation to the Seminary. In his letter he stated, "I hereby with the enclosed check...offer my gift to my spiritual 'mother,' St. Vladimir's Seminary, because from 'her' I had received excellent spiritual training, and am now what and who I am because of her."

Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield has lived and traveled in Alaska. "I remember Fr. Macarius from my own days in Alaska and Kodiak, where he served at Holy Resurrection Church. He was known as a faithful priest and the father of several adopted children that drew him close to St. Herman." Added fellow alumnus Theodore Bazil, senior advisor for Advancement at the Seminary "Fr. Macarius was a good man, and one we will never forget."

After his ordination at New York's Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral by Metropolitan Leonty, Fr. Macarius served for six years in Pennsylvania, at Holy Trinity Church, Wilkes-Barre and St. Mary's Orthodox Church in Osceola Mills, before he and Matushka Marie moved to Alaska to serve at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Kodiak.

During the years Father and Matushka Marie lived Kodiak, he assisted in the transfer of St. Herman of Alaska's holy relics from Spruce Island to Kodiak, and then hosted the hierarchs, priests and faithful at St. Herman's canonization on August 9, 1970.

Father Macarius briefly left Alaska to fulfill short-term assignments in Buffalo, NY and Kenosha, WI, returning to serve at the Holy Assumption of the Virgin Mary Russian Orthodox Church in Kenai, and the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Church in Ninilchik. For the last five years of his life, he was attached to Holy Assumption.

Father was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Macarii Targonsky, son, Nicholas, 10 brothers and sisters and a grandson, Cecil Demidoff. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Matushka Yvette Marie Tagonsky of Kenai; daughters and sons-in-law, Nina and Rick Weatherly of Modesto, CA, Evdokia (Dunya) and Ron Aho of Kenai; sons and daughters-in-law, Alexander and Nancy Targonsky of Seward, and Dimitri and Annette Targonsky of AK; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Lottie Cepanewski of Meriden, CT.

May His Memory Be Eternal! 

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