The Very Reverend Richard "RICH" Peter Pocalyko
November 15, 1946 – August 21, 2019
The Very Reverend Richard (Rich) Peter Pocalyko, 72, of Atlanta, passed away at home on August 21, 2019.
Rich was born on November 15, 1946 in Palmerton, PA, to Peter and Ruth Norwood Pocalyko. Rich has one brother, Barry Pocalyko.
During his early years and throughout his life, Rich was nurtured by a loving family, including by: his maternal grandfather, Leslie Norwood, a coal miner; his paternal grandparents, Nicholas and Dora Bendera Pocalyko, both Ukrainian immigrants, and their children / his paternal aunts and uncles, Tina Pocalyko Smith, Michael and Leona Pocalyko, Andrew and Mary Jane Pocalyko, Walter and Ann Pocalyko, and Stanley and Jean Pocalyko; and his maternal aunt and uncles, John and Mary Bartels Burns and Henry Bartels.
Rich had many fond memories of times shared with his paternal cousins, including Louise Smith, Linda Pocalyko, Michael Pocalyko, Judy Pocalyko Parsons, Jim Pocalyko, John Pocalyko, David Pocalyko, Michael Pocalyko, Paul Pocalyko, Danny Pocalyko, Vincent Pocalyko, Patrick Pocalyko, and Nicholas Pocalyko.
For his first ten years, Rich’s family lived in Jim Thorpe (Mauch Chunk), PA, an idyllic town nestled in the heart of the Pocono Mountains. Thereafter, Rich’s family moved to Saugerties, NY and then on to Chevy Chase, MD, where Rich’s Dad worked as an engineer with IBM for over 25 years. In 1964, Rich graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase (BCC) High School in Chevy Chase, MD. Rich attended Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, from which he graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor’s degree in English.
He studied at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA, where he was awarded a Master of Divinity degree in 1971.
Rich later attended Princeton Theological Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary for doctoral studies. Rich was ordained to the Episcopal priesthood by Bishop William Creighton at Washington National Cathedral in 1972.
Rich served as Assoc. Rector of St. Andrew’s (College Park, MD; 1971-1973), Assoc. Rector of St. Luke’s (Atlanta, GA; 1973-1980), Rector of St. Dunstan’s (Atlanta, GA; 1980-1990), Canon for Stewardship Development and Associate for Pastoral Care at the Cathedral of St. Philip (Atlanta, GA; 1993-2000), and Dean of Trinity Cathedral (Pittsburgh, PA; 2000-2003).
Throughout his ministry, Rich volunteered in many capacities in the Diocese of Atlanta. He served on and chaired both the Commission on Consulting and the Department of Stewardship. In addition, he served on the Steering Committee for the Clergy Association. He actively ministered to and consulted with congregations in the Diocese of Atlanta. In retirement, he continued to enjoy doing occasional supply work at churches around the Diocese.
Rich married his college sweetheart and wife of fifty years, Cynthia (Cindy) Austin Pocalyko, in her hometown of Englewood, NJ on August 16, 1969. Rich and Cindy have a son, Stephen Pocalyko; daughters and sons-in-law, Jennifer and Todd Latz, Lara and Jeff Walker; sister-in-law, Betty Austin Lewis; grandchildren, Alex, Sophie, and Gaby Latz, and Preston Walker; and nephew, Sean Pocalyko.
Over the years, Rich cherished the time he spent with his family, as well as with the family’s much-loved pups, including an Irish Setter, two German Shepherds, and four Golden Retrievers.
In his free time, Rich enjoyed baseball, gardening, reading, watching old movies, and vacationing with his family on the Outer Banks, NC and at Kiawah Island, SC.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Cathedral of St. Philip Endowment Fund or The American Cancer Society.
We invite you to join us for a Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration for Rich’s Life on Saturday, September 14, 2019 at 2 o’clock at The Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta.
- Rich and Cindy have a son, Stephen Pocalyko; daughters and sons-in-law, Jennifer and Todd Latz, Lara and Jeff Walker; sister-in-law, Betty Austin Lewis; grandchildren, Alex, Sophie, and Gaby Latz, and Preston Walker; and nephew, Sean Pocalyko.
- A Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration for the Life of The Very Reverend Richard Peter Pocalyko Saturday, September 14, 2019
- Reception after the service
The Very Reverend Richard "RICH" Peter Pocalyko
D. Louis Gruverk, Jr
September 28, 2019
I was in Pittsburgh when Rev Rich was the Dean of Trinity Cathedral. He welcomed a college student like me with open arms and was such a wonderful person to know while I was there. I enjoyed hearing him preach and appreciate what he did for the Cathedral in his short time. I only wish I knew he was in Atlanta as I moved back to my home state of Georgia in 2004 and never knew he was in the area. I am sorry to hear of his loss and prayers go out to the family during this tough time.
September 10, 2019
My family were members at St. Dunstan's for many years because of Rich. He married all 4 of my daughters, most of whom fainted at their wedding. Rich used their wedding in many of his talks to couples. He Baptised many of my 10 Grandchildren and conducted funerals for my husband and my daughters' mother-in-law. We will all miss him as I feel he was part of our family.
September 6, 2019
Rich was our pastor at St. Dunstan's for about 18 (or more) years. He married us in 1981. He was a fine preacher, and he really served his "flock" with faithfulness and love. When my mother-in-law passed away in 1983 Rich came to the funeral parlor to be with my husband and me, even though she had attended Peachtree Road Lutheran Church. That was so comforting to my husband Ray. Rich demonstrated God's love in very practical ways. He truly lived to serve. We were blessed to have known him.
September 5, 2019
I was sad to see of Rich,s passing. I wish Will andI could attend the service but it is a bit far for us now. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We will be with you in spirit on the 14th.
Love and prayers,