In Memoriam: Archpriest Daniel Rentel

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Victor Rentel. He is survived by his wife, Elaine (Holovach) Rentel; his brother Llewellyn Rentel; his daughter Dr. Victoria Rentel (Brad Britton) and their children George and Lydia; his daughter Judith (Jeffrey) Smith and their children Gabrielle and Justine; and his son, the Very Rev. Dr. Alexander (Nancy) Rentel, and their children Dimitrios, Maria and Daniel, plus numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and friends, all of whom will miss him dearly.

Father Daniel was raised in Altoona and often talked fondly about his childhood: his ties to his extended family there were strong. He undertook theological studies at Christ the Savior Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Seminary in Johnstown, PA and Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA, graduating in 1961. He went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and earned his M.A. in Byzantine History from The Ohio State University. He also did extensive work toward a PhD in Byzantine History at OSU.

In September 1962, two important life events occurred: he married his wife Elaine on September 2 and he was ordained a deacon on September 21 and then a priest on September 23. Both ordinations, performed by Archbishop (later Metropolitan) Ireney (Bekish) of Boston and New England, took place at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York City.

Father Daniel successively served as pastor of the following parishes: Saint John the Baptist Church, Phillipsburg, PA (1962-65), Holy Annunciation Church, Berwick, PA (1965-66), All Saint Church, Indiana, PA (1966-70), Saints Peter and Paul Church, Campbell (Urey), PA and Saint Peter and Paul Church, Patton, PA (1970-73). He then took a leave of absence for academic study, continuing his pastoral ministry as a missionary and supply priest.

In 1976, he became the founding pastor of Christ the Savior Mission in Cincinnati, OH, where he would remain until 1982, when he established missionary outreach at Ohio State University. This evolved into Saint Gregory of Nyssa Church, where Father Daniel would serve, even after retirement in 2011, for the rest of his life.

In recognition of his faithful service, Father Daniel received the following clergy awards Nabedrennik (1964), Skufia (1968), Gold Cross (1980), Archpriest (1984), Palitza (1989), Jeweled Cross (1991). Concurrently with parish ministry, Father Daniel became the first Dean of the Columbus Deanery (1995-2007), and was respected by his fellow clergy who also enjoyed his warmth and humor.


In 1978 he added a new profession to his already busy life of priesthood and father, that of a middle school social studies teacher in Columbus City Schools, and somewhat to his surprise, he found that nurturing his students became yet another calling. In the last decades, he added the title “Grandpa”: his seven grandchildren will remember fondly his cheesy eggs, his cinnamon rolls, his singing, his haranguing phone calls, his great hugs, and the many other ways he showed his love.

The schedule of services for Father Daniel is as follows:
All services will be held at Saint Gregory of Nyssa Orthodox Church, 2219 Summit Street, Columbus, Ohio 43201.

Friday, February 10
2:00 PM – 4:00 PM Visitatiom
6:00 PM Funeral Service for a Priest

Saturday, February 11
8:00 AM Hierarchical Liturgy followed by interment at Holy Myrrhbearers Orthodox Cemetery, Lewis Center, OH.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Mary Rentel Education Fund c/o The Columbus Foundation, 1234 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH 43205.

May Father Daniel’s memory be eternal!

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