In Memoriam: Protopresbyter-stavrophor Adam Yonitich Jr., Lt., Col., USAFR

The Very Reverend Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Adam Yonitch, Jr., Lt. Col. USAFR, 70, of Hempfield Township, reposed in the Lord on Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg. He was born April 27, 1951, in Latrobe Hospital, a son of the late Adam Sr. and Irene (Bilky) Yonitch, grandson of the late Janko and Martha (Baltich) Yonitch. He graduated from Franklin Regional Junior-Senior High School in 1970, and from St. Tikhon's Russian Orthodox Seminary in South Cannan, PA in 1975. He also received a Master of Science in religious studies from Marywood College in Dunmore, PA.

He married his wife, Roberta Lee Bazala, on May 8, 1976, at Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood. He was ordained Deaconate at St. Sava Cathedral in Parma, OH by Bishop Sava, ordained to the Holy priesthood at Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood. He then studied under Fr. Nenad Resanovich before being assigned to his first parish.

He was an Air Force veteran, accepted as equal to MDiv and commissioned as the first American-Serbian Orthodox Chaplain in the United States Air Force. During his time in the Air Force, he had served at Andrews AFB, Washington, DC, Offutt AFB, Omaha, NE, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX, Ramstein AFB, Kaiserslautern, Germany, Wright Patterson, Dayton, OH, and FE Warren Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Fr. Adam served the Serbian Orthodox community from his ordination in 1976 until his retirement in 2016, during which he served at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, PA, Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church, Youngwood, St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, Johnstown, Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church, Lebanon, PA, as well as serving
during active duty, the Moshannon Valley Corrections Prison Chaplain, and substituted for parishes when necessary.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Joanne and James Keating. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Roberta Lee (Bazala) Yonitch; his son, SPC Damian Yonitch (Wendy), of Somerset; and his daughter, Mira Yonitch (Nelson), of Dawson. He was Djedo to his four grandchildren, Mercedes, Zander, Zoey, and Reavyn Arianna, who were his entire world. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, John J. Bazala (Rebecca), of Rillton; sister-in-law, Donna Madrashin, of Adamsburg; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation will be held from 2 to 6 PM Tuesday at Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church, 24 N. 3rd Street, Youngwood where a burial service will begin at 6 PM with His Grace Bishop Irinej officiating. Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will begin at 10 AM Wednesday in Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church, Youngwood celebrated by His Grace Bishop Irinej, and concelebrated by Fr. Rumen Stoychev, parish priest and guest clergy. Interment will follow in Twin Valley Memorial Park, Delmont with Full Military Honors accorded by the American Legion, Post 981, South Greensburg Honor Guard.

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