In the 91st year of his life, Subdeacon Evgenii Iosifovich Klar reposed in the Lord, surrounded by his family, at home in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he lived with his wife, Lidia Mikhailovna, after retiring from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in 2005.
Evgenii Iosifovich was born in 1927 on the feast of Theophany (January 19 N.S.) in Zhitomir, Ukraine. Life’s fate brought him in immigration to Toronto, Canada where he formed a family with Lidia Mikhailovna. They had three children, Michael, Mary and Anna.
Evgenii was a pedagogue by heart. He taught Russian at the University of Toronto. He also was the director of the parochial school at the parish of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, presently the largest parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
Evgenii and his wife raised their children in an atmosphere of piety. They made pilgrimages to the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. Eventually, he moved his family to the Convent of the Lesna Icon of the Mother of God, in Provement, France, where he worked on beautifying the wonderworking icon, creating the rays that still adorn the icon to this day.
It was in France that Evgenii suffered a serious car accident. He was invited by Archbishop Averky, abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery and rector of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary and Hieromonk Ioanniky to come to Jordanville to assist in improving the academics at the seminary. His pedagogical skills were greatly appreciated by the rectors, Vladyka Averky and the future Metropolitan Laurus, and he eventually became dean of the seminary, from 1981 to 2005. Early on, he was tonsured a subdeacon by Vladyka.
During his tenure as seminary dean, many improvements were made in the seminary, in the quality of teaching, in the library, and in all areas of this the only seminary of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. It must be said that Evgenii received very little financial compensation for all of his efforts, but tirelessly sought to do all he could to raise the level of teaching at the seminary. He and his wife took a personal interest in the seminarians and welcomed them into their Jordanville home. It must be pointed out that not only was Evgenii interested in the academic level, but he and Lidia also combined this with a desire to preserve the traditional pious ethos of the seminary in all of their dealings with the seminary and the students.
Long after most people retire, Evgenii retired from the seminary in 2005. He and Lidia moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he reposed on September 10, 2017, the day of the feast of St. Job of Pochaev, the patron saint of the brotherhood of the Holy Trinity Monastery, a proper ending of a life long dedicated to service to Christ and His Church.
We at the seminary and monastery posthumously thank him for his dedication, for helping many of us to learn the Russian language, for inspiring us in studying our holy faith. May his memory be eternal!
The funeral is being held on September 20 at Novo Diveevo, Nanuet, New York.