Gregory Basil Melnyk Obituary

Gregory Basil Melnyk

Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God. (Ruth 1:16)

Gregory Melnyk, born Wasily Cemenenko in Ukraine in 1926, emigrated with his father Trofim to the United States in 1945 escaping persecution by the communists. They left their village and walked through Germany where Gregory worked on electric power distribution systems at the Displaced Persons camps.

After moving to Chicago, although not yet fluent in English, Gregory received a B.S.E.E from University of Illinois-Navy Pier. Within that same week, he got married to Veronica Volhajiv, accepted a job from I&M, bought a house and bought his first car.

Gregory knew the power of prayer when as a young boy, his father was kidnapped by the Soviet communists, but miraculously released. Many years of prayers, and one day God spoke to him and told him to go to church. He joined the Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church in Benton Harbor, and later became Priest with his parish in Benton Harbor and Goshen, Indiana.

Gregory’s father Trofim fell asleep in the Lord in 1994, and Gregory travelled to Ukraine for the first time since leaving his village at 16. In Zaporizhye, he reunited with his brother Andrew and sister Halla. After 3 weeks it was time to go back to the United States, and his family, and his 2 jobs. But he felt at home in Ukraine.

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee. (Psalm 5:12)

Gregory will forever be remembered as kind, compassionate and loving. He loved the Lord and he loved people. He lived a humble life in the service of the Lord with his ministry of love and kindness. He was preceded in death by his wife Veronica, and his son Gregory. He leaves behind the rest of his family, and all those who knew him whose lives are forever changed and made better by being with him. This is what great people do.

When thing were going wrong, as they do, Gregory used to say, “Stop, let us think”. Actions have consequences, and unthoughtful actions have bad consequences. Let us stop, and think, for Gregory. And live in freedom. Memory Eternal.

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Friends may visit Monday, April 18, 2022 from 5:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at Starks & Menchinger Chapel and Cremation Service, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 5:00 P.M., Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at Holy Virgin Protection Orthodox Church, 61355 County Road 21, Goshen, IN 46528. Burial will be held at 12:00 P.M. Wednesday at Riverview Cemetery in St. Joseph. Those wishing to share a memory of Gregory online may do so at