DIOCESE OF WESTERN AMERICA: March 8, 2018 Protodeacon George Grigoriev of Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Hollywood reposes in the Lord
On Sunday, March 4, 2018, the longtime cleric of Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Hollywood, CA, Protodeacon George Grigoriev, reposed in the Lord. The funeral will take place at the church on Friday, March 9. The burial will take place at the Serbian Cemetery.
Fr George was born on June 1, 1925, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, son of a Russian soldier, Peter Ivanovich Grigoriev, a graduate of the First Cadet Corps of Empress Ekaterina, and Nadezhda Nikolaevna Samarskaya. The young Nadezhda came to settle in Sarajevo with her parents from revolution-torn Odessa, Russia. From the age of 10, George began studies at the First Russian Cadet Corps of Grand Duke Konstantin Konstantinovich in Bela Crkva, Serbia. This was one of the finest Russian schools for boys in the diaspora; students were taught a Russian patriotic and Orthodox Christian world view, which they carried with them throughout their lives.
World War II was of course a major disruption, and George’s mother died at the age of 33 from a bomb blast. After the war, George found himself in a Displaced-Persons camp in Munich, where he stayed until 1949, when he turned 24. A happy childhood was uprooted by war and his fate was uncertain, though George had faith that the Lord would provide. Later that year he moved to America, where he worked as a gatherer of oranges, which earned him 10 cents per box. After the harvest that first year, George learned that he was indebted to the owner of the grove in the amount of $120. He then started work as a contractor, and in 1950, he was conscripted to the US Army, and served in Korea from 1950-1953, seeing 1.5 years of active duty.
Remarkably, despite his turbulent life, George never missed a single Paschal service, even in Korea. He was able to obtain furlough to travel to Japan, where he attended an Orthodox church. His faith in God and love for Russia, his industriousness and honesty were the four columns of George’s life to the very end. Life brought him joys and sorrows, but he remained the same.
After military service he moved to Los Angeles, where he met Anya, whom he married on September 14, 1954. This was the love of his life. They had two children, Yuri and Nadezhda, and the family led an active in church and in Russian society. George felt special protection from the Mother of God and wished to serve Her and Her Son. He was ordained a deacon in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and began to serve at the Los Angeles church. At the age of 42, George was laid off, but, undeterred, started his own business and supported his children through college. Tragedy befell them when Nadenka suddenly died of heart failure at age 28. This brought Fr George closer to church. He paid special attention in his prayers for the living and dead. The parishioners remember Fr George’s bold voice intoning “Let us pray to the Lord.”
Yuri had two wonderful children, Nicholas and Alexandra. Fr George and Anna left this world in peace, leaving a legacy of always having helped others. These wonderful Orthodox Christians led a wonderful life, even though they spent it outside of their homeland.
In June, 2009, Fr George became a widower. Not long after, he moved to St John of Kronstadt Convalescent Home, built by Russian emigres for their aging relatives, which contains a chapel to the saint. Fr George frequently sung along with the priest during services, having remembered them very well from his service as a deacon.