The Reverend Deacon Basil Michael Soroka, 79, a well-known and respected deacon of the Byzantine Catholic faith of Swoyersville, fell asleep in the Lord early Easter Sunday morning, April 17, 2022, following a prolonged illness while in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Born on the Eastern Rite Christmas Day, Thursday, Jan. 7, 1943, in Wilkes-Barre, he was one of seven children to the late Michael and Catherine Saukulyak Soroka. Educated in the city schools, he was a 1960 graduate of the former James M. Coughlin High School, Wilkes-Barre.
In his youth to assist the family financially, he found work on area farms. Later in life, and having a love of automobile restoration, he was employed for many years as an auto upholsterer for Britt's Upholstery, formerly on North and North River streets, later becoming the owner and operator of Basil's Auto Upholstery on Barney Street, all of Wilkes-Barre.
He might be better remembered for his years of service as supervisor of security at the Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre; a job which garnered him many friends over the years.
Following his formal retirement, Deacon Basil did not sit idly by. He then worked as security detail for the Bank of America on Montage Mountain for several years.
Throughout his many ventures, Basil always felt a calling by Almighty God. He studied for the permanent deaconate for the Eparchy of Passaic and became ordained the Rev. Deacon Basil by the Most Rev. Kurt Burnette, bishop at his home parish of St. Mary in Wilkes-Barre. At Saint Mary's, he also held membership as a fourth-degree member of the parish council in the Knights of Columbus. He remained actively involved in a number of parish events over the years.
This new vocation led him to several years of service to the Byzantine Catholic faithful of the Wyoming Valley, specifically at the parishes of St. Mary Protection of the Mother of God, Kingston, and Saint John the Baptist, Wilkes-Barre Township, where he assisted the Reverend Father Mykhaylo Prodanets in the ministry.
Deacon Basil touched countless lives in his years of service and will be greatly missed by many. Above all, he is remembered as being a loving, devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather to his adoring family. He was also a wonderful brother, uncle, nephew and friend. May God keep his memory eternal!
He and his beloved wife, the former Christine Ann Laboda, celebrated 58 years of married life together on Sept. 7 of last year.
Besides his parents, Deacon Basil was preceded in death by brothers, Michael G. Soroka, Myron Soroka and David Soroka.
Left to cherish the wonderful memories they keep of him, in addition to his wife, Christine, at home, are the couple's daughters, Karen A. Worlinsky and her husband, Thomas, Swoyersville; Christine M. Biros and her husband, John "Jay," Mountain Top; grandchildren, including Amanda Gilmer and her husband, Justin; Justin Biros and his fiancée, Christina Miller; Jeremy Worlinsky; Mikayla Worlinsky; Zachary Biros and his wife, Sarah; and Nicolas Biros; four great-grandchildren; brother, Jerome Soroka and his wife, Judith, Dallas; sisters, Mary Ann Soroka, Hughesville; Catherine "Cathy" Soroka, Hudson; brother-in-law, John "Jack" Laboda, Wilkes-Barre; sister-in-law, Rosalie Soroka, Pittston; uncle, Mr. Joseph Saukulyak, Wilkes-Barre Twp.; several nieces and nephews, including Rachel Prutzman and her husband, Jason, Dallas; several cousins; fellow parishioners, former colleagues and dear friends.
Funeral services for Deacon Basil will be conducted on Thursday having the concelebrated Office of Christian Burial with Divine Liturgy at 11 a.m. in Holy Assumption of St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church. The Most Reverend Kurt Burnette, Bishop of the Eparchy of Passaic will be principal celebrant.
Interment with the Rites of Committal will follow in the family lot of Saint Mary's Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, Lake Street, Dallas.
Relatives and friends are invited to pay last respects to Deacon Basil and offer sympathies to his family from 5 until 7 p.m. Wednesday and from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday in Saint Mary's Church, 695 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre.
A Parastas service will be held at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday during visitation at Saint Mary's.
In lieu of floral tributes, memorial donations would be greatly appreciated to his beloved church, Saint Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church, 695 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18705.
The John V. Morris Family Funeral Home Inc., of Wilkes-Barre, is honored to care for our friend, Deacon Basil and his family at this time.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Basil Michael Soroka, please visit our floral store.
Saint Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church
695 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre PA 18705