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Rev. Kluchko, wife retiring 42 years after moving here

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleyindependent/news/s_547721.html Rev. Kluchko, wife retiring 42 years after moving here By Emma Jene Lelik For The Valley
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2008
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      http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/valleyindependent/news/s_547721.html

      Rev. Kluchko, wife retiring 42 years after moving here
      By Emma Jene Lelik
      For The Valley Independent
      Wednesday, January 16, 2008
      Belle Vernon, PA

      "It's time to say so long. New people come into our lives. I ask you
      to welcome the new priest (Father Sam Smolcic)."

      With those final words of farewell, the Very Rev. John Kluchko ended
      a pastorate of 42 years at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in the
      Lynnwood section of Washington Township on Theophany Sunday.

      When Father Kluchko and his wife, Mildred, first came to the area,
      the priest was asked to serve at the newly organized Holy
      Resurrection Church while he was attending graduate school at the
      University of Pittsburgh, where he was pursuing a degree in social work.

      "We built the new church and I stayed on," Kluchko said of his long tenure.

      He had served short pastorates in Bethlehem, Pa. and Elmira, N.Y.,
      after being ordained by Archbishop Dimitri in New Jersey in 1962. He
      was born in Shenandoah, Pa., on July 15, 1938.

      Under his guidance, the new church was also furnished and many
      educational programs were sponsored for the parish and the community.

      Father Kluchko acknowledged the support of St. Barbara's Altar Guild
      for the church and the community.

      "If they see a need, they act on it," the priest said. "For example,
      they learned about a family outside the parish that needed a van. The
      guild raised $1,000 for them without expecting anything in return."

      The parishioners are well-known for baking Baba's Pascha during the
      Easter season and nut rolls at Christmas time.

      The church was in the news spotlight a number of years ago, when
      Father Kluchko walked in to prepare for a memorial service and
      noticed oil dropping from the face of the icon of the Theotokos
      (Mother of God).

      The "weeping icon" was visited by hundreds of people during the
      period of three weeks when the oil was visible.

      The Kluchkos will reside in Bridgeville in their retirement.

      But first, they'll spend several weeks in Kiev, Ukraine, visiting
      their son and daughter-in-law, Luke and Oksana. Luke is on a
      three-year assignment in Kiev for the U.S. Defense Department.

      This will give the Kluchkos a chance to meet their new twin
      grandchildren, Emily and Michael, born in October. Luke and Oksana
      also have a daughter, Marianna, 5.

      The Kluchkos' daughter and son-in-law, Kyra and Egor Panchenko, live
      in New Jersey. They have a son, Dmitri, 2.

      Their other daughter and son-in-law, Melanie and John Noble, also
      reside in New Jersey with their two children, Brendan, 7, and Aiden, 3.

      As our interview ended, Father Kluchko offered these words of wisdom:

      "Life is unpredictable. Use the day well."
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