Michael Wolfe-Zuchick III, a founding member of St. Nicholas Mission in King, N.C., reposed in the Lord at the age of 67 on the Leave-taking of the Feast of Pentecost. He passed peacefully after receiving the Holy Mysteries.
Michael was a veteran of the United States Navy, a published author, and an avid woodworker who contributed to the beatification of St. Nicholas Mission. He came to the Orthodox faith 25 years ago, embracing the Ukrainian heritage of his pious step-father.
His funeral was served by Fr. Christopher Foley of Holy Cross Church (OCA) and co-served by Fr. Onouphry Keith, mission rector. A combined choir sang the hymns of the service. Reader Joseph Sprinkle and Efraim Shultz of St. Nicholas Mission were joined by Subdeacon Jeremiah McKemy, a seminarian of St. Tikhon's Seminary, and Reader Daniel Kowalchek of Holy Cross Church.
For the final hymn of the service, the priests and servers joined the choir at the kliros to sing the Stichera of the Last Kiss together in a moment that moved many - including the many non-Orthodox attendants - to tears.
The service brought together the church communities of St. Nicholas and Holy Cross, the family of the reposed, and many friends in the hope of the Resurrection and prayers for the peaceful repose of one of St. Nicholas Mission's earliest benefactors.