Very Rev. Protopresbyter Stephen Dutko Reposes in the Lord
April 24, 2009
BINGHAMTON, NY - Very Rev. Protopresbyter Stephen Dutko, Pastor Emeritus of St. Michael's Church, Binghamton, NY, peacefully Reposed in the Lord early this morning. Father Stephen was the eldest and still functioning Orthodox priest of the diocese, having marked his 92nd birthday on January 3. On May 10th of this year he would have celebrated his 67th Anniversary of Ordination to the Holy Priesthood.
Father Stephen was predeceased by his wife, Pani Mary Dzuback Dutko in 1990 and his son, Richard J. Dutko in 1967.
He is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, the Very Rev. Protopresbyter James S. and Pani Kathleen Dutko and David and Cheryl Dutko, all of Binghamton, four grandchildren, Richard M. Dutko of Binghamton, James A. and his wife Rachel Dutko of Philadelphia, PA, and Christina M. and Matthew D. Dutko both of Binghamton, his brother-in-law, Joseph Dzuback and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral arrangements are as follows: Father Stephen's body will lie in state at St. Michael's Church, 292 Clinton Street, Binghamton on Monday from 6-9pm where at 7pm, a memorial service will be offered by area clergy. Viewing at the Church will continue on Tuesday from 4-9pm where at 7pm, a Priest's Burial Service will be celebrated by Metropolitan Nicholas and consistory clergy. A Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Wednesday at 10am. Burial will follow Liturgy at St. Michael's Church Cemetery.
Father Stephen was a graduate of Union College, Cranford, NJ, and Christ the Savior Seminary.
He was ordained to the priesthood on May 10, 1942 at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Bridgeport, CT by the late Metropolitan Orestes. He was assigned to organize St. Mary's Orthodox Church in Buffalo where he served as pastor until 1947. He was then transferred to St. Michael's Orthodox Church in Freeland, PA. While pastor of St. Michael's, he oversaw the building of a new rectory, the completion of the church and the construction of an educational center with a bowling alley.
In September 1961, he assumed the pastorate of St. Michael's Church in Binghamton. He was the spiritual father for many, served as director of the Diocesan Altar Boy Retreat for over thirty years and fostered thirteen vocations to the priesthood, nine of whom were from St. Michael's. While pastor of St. Michael's i Binghamton he oversaw many projects including the renovation of the church and the installation of new church bells and towers.
Father Stephen also served as a member of the diocesan consistory for more than 25 years.
Father Stephen will be forever known for his priestly zeal and faithful attention to the souls entrusted to his care, and especially his selfless outreach to those ill at home and in the hospital. His special love of church music and his knowledge and skill at singing the traditional prostopinje (plain chant) of the Carpatho-Rusyn people was known and respected throughout the United States and Europe.
(Listen to Father Stephen Sing The Exapostolarion at Resurrection Matins 2009)
Click the Play Button
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Father Stephen's memory to St. Michael's Capital Campaign, Christ the Savior Seminary, Johnstown, PA or to Camp Nazareth, in Mercer, PA.
May Almighty God Rest the Soul of His Newly Departed Servant, The Ever-memorable Protopresbyter Stephen in the Mansions of the Just, Where There is no Pain, Sorrow or Mourning, But Life Everlasting. May His Memory be Eternal, Vichnaja Jemu Pamjat, Christ is Risen!