Fefelov, The Rev. Kondraty Sozontovich*
Rev. Kondraty Sozontovich Fefelov, 71, died May 6, 2008, at his home in Nikolaevsk. Services were held May 8,
2008. He was born Sept. 4, 1936, in Russia. Rev. Fefelov was one of the original founders of the Russian Old Believer
community in Nikolaevsk. He served as a priest at St. Nikolas Church for 22 years until 2005, when he became ill with
Alzheimer's disease. Rev. Fefelov grew up without a father since he was 8 years old. He taught himself how to read and
sing in church. He escaped with his family to China, where he met and married his wife, Irina Karpovna Reutov, in
When communism came to China, the Fefelovs escaped communism again, moving to Hong Kong in 1957, where their
first son, Feodor Fefelov (deceased 2003), was born. From there they went to Brazil, staying there for about five years.
They had two more children, Deonisy and Feodosia. With help through the Tolstoy Foundation it was possible for
them to come to America. When they arrived in Oregon in 1963, daughter Pelagea was born after just one week.
For about five years Rev. Fefelov worked in a furniture factory in Portland, Ore. The Fefelovs didn't want to raise their
family in a city, so to save their religion and traditions, a group of families traveled to Alaska where they purchased
some land in 1968.
By this time they already had Nikita, Raisa and Kira when they arrived in Nikolaevsk in the spring of 1969. The
Fefelovs had $600 and seven children. After one week they built their first cabin, which they shared with another
family. There were no floors but bare ground with only one kitchen. By October they had already built a house.
Children Ludmila, Faina, Felisata and Joseph were later born in Nikolaevsk. It was very difficult to raise a large family
and jobs weren't readily available. In the winter, Rev. Fefelov built boats in Homer and fished in the summer. Fishing
and hunting was their main source of food. They also owned three milking cows, pigs, chickens and a big garden.
After a few years life got a little easier. They opened their own boat building shop. Rev. Fefelov owned a grocery store,
gas station and the first telephone in the village that people shared. He built more than half of the houses in Nikolaevsk
and did a lot of volunteer work around the village.
"He was a God fearing, obedient individual. Through his love for Christ he touched many lives," his family said.
He was chosen to be the church leader (nastoyatel) but not a priest, so they always searched for the true church. Six
families went to Romania to the Old Rite Orthodox Church, where they were baptized and accepted priesthood. Rev.
Fefelov studied to be a priest for three months and was ordained in 1983. People helped him build a church in
Nikolaevsk and in Oregon. He also built a church in Khabarovsk, Russian Far East, and helped them financially.
After becoming ill with Alzheimer's in 2005, the disease progressed downhill very quickly. He suffered a small stroke
and stopped talking for about a year before his death. It was very difficult for his wife and family. He was very well
loved and taken care of.
"We thank everybody who came to the funeral service on May 8, and attended his burial, as well as those who could
not make it," his family said. "We also thank you for all your prayers. God bless you. Many knew and loved him and
will remember him for his accomplishments and good deeds. We would also like to ask everyone to please keep him in
Rev. Fefelov leaves his wife of 51 years, Irina Karpovna Fefelov, 10 children, 47 grandchildren, 32 great-grand children
and many, even from Romania, Russia and Australia, who knew and loved him and will never forget him.