On Saturday, February 1, 2014 Trustee Emeritus of the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Board of Trustees Walter Palchik fell asleep in the Lord at his home in Old Bethpage, NY at the age of 96. Mr Palchik’s life was in many ways an exemplary model for lay leadership in the Church and what it means to live a life dedicated to serving the needs of the people of God.
Walter Palchik was, in his time, a very active Orthodox layman, who was involved in Church life on many levels. Initially a member of Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn, he became a member of Holy Trinity Church in East Meadow in the 1950's and was a committed and involved parishioner there for the rest of his long life. He was at various times, Starosta (Church Council President), a member of the Building Committee, Improvement Committees, etc. He was very active in the FROC (what is FOCA today), serving as chapter president and Governor of the Metropolitan District. He was a member of the Metropolitan Council, a founding member of the St. Vladimir's Foundation, and for many years an active member of the Board of Trustees and devoted supporter of St. Tikhon's Seminary. Already in his 70's he pursued an advanced correspondence certificate program in theological studies at St. Tikhon's, working closely with Fr. Michael Dahulich, who is now Bishop Michael of New York, and Rector of St. Tikhon's.
He was by profession a jeweler and was known thus throughout the OCA, but that does not tell his whole story. An accomplished jeweler by trade, he shared his talents, skills and professional resources with countless bishops, priests and parishes. He designed, manufactured, repaired, re-gilded hundreds of panagias, pectoral and baptismal crosses, chalices, communion spoons, Gospel covers, censers, etc. Many of these services were done gratis or at reduced rates. He was generous donor to seminaries, to the OCA, as well as to many clergy, including many of the Russian clergy during the years of the Soviet Union. Because of his generosity, many of the Russian bishops and clergy became close personal friends of his, including the late Patriarch Alexey II, and Protopresbyter Matthew Stadniuk, Dean of the Theophany Patriarchal Cathedral in Moscow, who would stay with Walter when he visited the United States. During perestroika, the director of Sofrino, (Mr. Parkhaev) invited Mr. Palchik to come to Russia to share some of his techniques with craftsmen there who were just beginning to make religious articles.
Walter was a faithful and devout Orthodox Christian, he came to Church regularly and was a regular communicant. He was also very faithful to the Orthodox Church in America, committed to Holy Tradition and to the establishment of an Orthodox Church in America which would witness to North American in a language and manner that would be meaningful and accessible.
(Biographical information provided by request by Archpriest Alexander Garklavs.)
Funeral services were held at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in East Meadow and were offered by Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, His Grace Bishop Michael, on February 6th and he was interred at St. Vladimir Russian Orthodox Cemetery (Rova Farms) in Jackson, NJ.