In Memoriam the Archpriest Macarius Targonsky

Natalya Mihailova | 30 June 2014
Clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Alaska mourn the loss of Archpriest Macarius Targonsky who departed this life on the evening of Wednesday, June 25.
In Memoriam the Archpriest Macarius Targonsky

Fr. Macarius served as a priest for 59 years making him the longest serving priest in the Diocese of Alaska. He is survived by his beloved Matushka Marie, children Nina, Alexander, Evdokia, Dimitri, grand-children and great grand children. Sadly, his son Nicholas recently departed this life on June 202014.

Father Macarius was the 10th of 11 children born to Russian immigrant parents in Meriden, Connecticut. Fr. Macarius graduated from St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary in New York. He was ordained in the Holy Protection of the Virgin Mary Cathedral in New York City by His Beatitude, the late Metropolitan Leonty. After serving a parish in Pennsylvania for six years Father became parish priest for Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Kodiak. He also served the Kodiak deaneries seven village parishes.

During the twelve years he and his wife Matushka Marie spent in Kodiak, Fr. Macarius participated in transferring the holy relics of St. Herman of Alaska from Spruce Island to Kodiak.   If asked, Father would relate the fascinating story of the transfer of the holy relics from Monk’s Lagoon by helicopter in difficult weather conditions. This helicopter was later added to the official canonization icon of St. Herman. Fr. Macarius was the parish priest tasked with hosting the multitude of hierarchs, priests and faithful at St. Herman’s canonization on August 9, 1970. In an interview held at his fiftieth anniversary, Fr. Macarius stated: “There in Kodiak were the 12 busiest years of our lives.”

While in Kodiak Fr. Macarius and Matushka Marie adopted five Russian-Aleut children. In his fiftieth anniversary interview Fr. Macarius mentioned: “we have been blessed even with a few great-grandchildren.”

After a five month assignment to Buffalo, New York and 10 months in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Targonsky returned to Alaska, assigned to Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary Church in Kenai and the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Church in Ninilchik. Following a battle with poor health Fr Macarius ministry was focused on the Ninilchik parish. For the last five years, Fr. Macarius was retired and attached to Holy Assumption Church in Kenai.

Fr. Macarius was known especially for his beautiful tenor voice. He loved Russian Church and folk music and had a great sense of humor, Father’s beautiful renditions of the famous Russian folk song “vecherny zvon” would stir the hearts of all the listeners. At his fiftieth anniversary priestly ordination celebration, Fr. Macarius stated: “Glory be to God for all the generous gifts we have received from all of you-clergy, parishioners, former parishioners, relative and friends and the good neighbours.” In return the Church in Alaska thanks Fr. Macarius for his many gifts, sacrifices and labors on behalf of the faithful. We thank God for His faithful priest who served for decades in often difficult and challenging Alaskan conditions. Father was willing to literally give his life for the Church in Alaska and will find his resting place in this land which he travelled so far to serve. He leaves behind a great legacy of pastoral work. May his life be a source of inspiration to our clergy and faithful. May Our Lord Jesus Christ be a source of comfort and consolation to Matushka Marie the Targonsky family. Having suffered from bad health for many years, Fr. Macarius now rests “in a place of brightness, a place of refreshment, a place of repose, where all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away.” May Fr. Macarius’s memory be eternal!

Services will be held at the Holy Assumption Orthodox Church 1106 Mission, Kenai, AK 99611. The viewing will be held in the church at 6 PM with the funeral service beggining at 7PM on Monday, June 30th. Anyone wishing to send their condolences/cards to Matushka Yvette can send to P.O. Box 3427, Kenai, Alaska 99611

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