On February 6th, 2024, a longstanding parishioner of Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church of Sacramento, Nicholas Storm, reposed in the Lord. Having been born in Yugoslavia on May 11, 1920, the newly-departed servant of God Nicholas lived a full and rich life of over 103 years.
His maternal grandfather was an archpriest in Saint Petersburg. And, his mother would recall how Saint John of Kronstadt had been in her father’s home when she was a little girl. Nicholas’ father was a white army officer who sustained wounds during one battle and eventually succumbed to them. Details of Nicholas’ immediate ancestry may be found in a biography about his mother entitled “Valentina.”
Nicholas Storm graduated from the “First Russian Cadet Corpus of Grand Prince Konstantin Konstantinovcih at the White Church in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in 1938. Due to the circumstances of WWII, he soon found himself undergoing the life of a refugee in Germany and Austria. Later in his life, he had hinted that conditions as a prisoner in Austria were particularly trying to endure and demanded of him a brave Christian heart.
While living in Germany, Nicholas Storm was able to obtain a higher education and became a doctor of veterinary medicine. Then coming to the United States of America, he passed the local veterinary medical board and practiced in the State of Michigan. Nicholas Storm eventually took a position with the Department of Food and Agriculture of the State of California, thus relocating to Sacramento, CA, with his wife Galina and their sons, George and Alexei in in1963.
Nicholas – Nicholai Nicholaevich as he fondly addressed – soon became a member of Holy Ascension Church of Sacramento and even a “Ktitor,” one who manifested special devotion and aid to the prosperity of the church and its community.
Nicholai Nicholaevich is one of many of the builders of Holy Ascension Church. But his family distinguished itself the greatest by helping to obtain our Russian Orthodox Cemetery and then caring for its maintenance. Nicholas’ wife, Galina, was close to the Father Rector, Archpriest Grigorii Tanasiuk. The latter had wanted to buy land and organize a cemetery where parishioners could be buried on consecrated ground. Being fluent in English, Galina Storm traveled around the area with Father Grigorii helping him find an appropriate location. Through their tireless and determined efforts, the parish was able to buy and have deeded ¾ of an acre at Saint Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Sacramento, a 20-minute drive from Holy Ascension Church. Nicholai Nicholaevich became the cemetery caretaker performing the physical labor necessary for its upkeep from the cemetery’s inception in 1970 until he retired from these duties in 1987. During those years, Galina Storm also dedicated her life to the parish and cemetery. For almost two decades she was the cemetery bookkeeper and thanks to her fluency in English was also responsible for all the arrangements needed to coordinate funerals and burials in our cemetery. Nicholai Nicholaevich’s steadfast dedication to the building and maintaining our church and cemetery have earned him the honorable title of “Ktitor,” along with many other figures in the history of our parish like Ktitor Vladimir Seifullin, Ktitor Vladimir Korbe, Ktitor Nicholai Kaliatkin, Ktitor Nicholai Logunov and Ktitor Lev Klimoff (a close friend of Nicholai Storm).
During his long life, Nicholai Nicholaevich often attended the Divine Services and participated in the Sunday dinners after Divine Liturgy. Always a gentleman with well-trained discipline and a good posture, which belied his military training at the cadet corpus, he maintained a love of Mother Russia and her culture and her history and literature, being able to recite long passages of poetry even in old age. He loved to offer generous hospitality in his home and warm company.
From November of 2023, when it became difficult for Nicholas Storm to attend church services, his family and caregivers made sure that he communed of the Sacred Mysteries of Christ at home regularly. At one of the last of such instances in December, the servant of God Nicholas, immediately upon reception of Holy Communion and making the sign of the cross several times, told those present that it helped him immensely. He reposed peacefully in the Lord on Holy Blessed Xenia Day, January 24/February 6, 2024.
In 2020, when Nicholai Nicholaevich became a centenarian, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America came to Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church of Sacramento to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and to mark Nicholas Storm’s many merits. Nicholai Nicholaevich Storm was awarded a Benedictory Tribute by His Eminence the text of which in part states: “By your love for the Orthodox Faith and your attention, responsiveness and care for God’s church and for people, you give a good example of prayer and dedication to the parish and to all of the parishioners.”
Memory Eternal to newly-departed Ktitor Nicholas!
Memory Eternal to his spouse Galina Vasilievna!
Memory Eternal to all the reposed clergy, founders, builders, and benefactors of Holy Ascension Russian Orthodox Church of Sacramento!