Paul Chernaskey Chernay, 90, member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, in Bethlehem, PA, died on January 5th, 2017. Paul was the son of the late Roman and Fiona (Orischak) Chernaskey. He was the loving husband of the late Betty Jo (Bussey) Chernay who died in 1998. They were married for 52 years.
Paul was a veteran of WWII, serving with the Navy as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class in Europe and North Africa. Paul was a gentleman of commanding presence, known by his friends and family to be fun loving and generous. His many pastimes included travel, boating, working on his “farm”. Paul was a devout member of the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Bethlehem. He also served on the board of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Paul was the owner of Chernay Printing, Inc., which he founded in 1966. His other businesses included PBC Guitars, Inc. and Paul’s Cantina, formerly located in Center Valley. Paul also enjoyed success in his real estate ventures.
A generous benefactor of both his Church and of the Seminary, Paul was honored to receive the St. Innocent of Alaska Silver Award. One of the highest awards given by the Orthodox Church in America, it was bestowed on Paul for his zealous support of St. Tikhon’s Seminary and St. Nicholas Church, and especially for his love and generosity for his fellow man. On Saturday, May 25th, 2013, St. Tikhon’s Seminary was also pleased to honor the years of dedicated service of Trustee Emeritus Paul Chernay by awarding him the Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa for his continual support of the St. Tikhon’s Community and selfless dedication to the building up of the Orthodox Church. (The photo with this story reflects his receiving the honorary doctorate.)
Though Paul was preceded in death by his most of his immediate family, his twin sister, Pauline Chernaskey Kasick, and many nieces and nephews were present at the funeral. Serving at the funeral service on Monday, January 9, 2017, at St. Nicholas Church in Bethlehem were: His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Seminary Rector; Archpriest James Weremedic (STOTS Class, 2001), parish priest; Archpriests Steven Voytovich and Dennis Swencki, Seminary Dean and CFO, respectively; Archpriest James Mason (STOTS Class of 1962); and Fr. Jason Vansuch, whose father, the late Archpriest Eugene Vansuch, also served at St. Nicholas Church as Paul’s pastor. Archbishop Michael shared condolences from the Most Blessed Metropolitan Herman, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Rector for many years, and His Grace, the Right Reverend David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska, who also served the parish.
The family has designated that memorial contributions may be made to St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, 980 Bridle Path Road, Bethlehem, PA, and/or St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 130 South Canaan, PA, 18459.
Memory eternal to the newly departed servant of God, Paul.