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Theodore Georgievich Selinsky was born in Belgrade on November 16th, 1941, during the German occupation, in a family of White Émigrés. His grandfather, Theodore Petrovich Selinsky (1874-1957), descendant of an old noble family, was an associate of A. Glazunov, an orchestra conductor, violist and faculty member of the Imperial Russian Musical Society in Simferopol who conducted a special performance of Glinka’s “A Life for the Tsar” for the Imperial family at their residence in Yalta on the 300th anniversary of the Romanoff dynasty in 1913. His son, Georgi, the father of Theodore Georgievich, became a White Army volunteer, fought in the cavalry of Gen. P. Wrangel and retreated with him to Gallipoli.

Conductor Theodore Petrovich emigrated to the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia, after 1929) where he was united with his son, Georgi, and continued his career, conducting the Novi Sad opera and operetta, the Belgrade Opera, Belgrade Symphony, and leading the Belgrade Radio orchestra from 1929-1949.

Georgi Selinsky became an entrepreneur, and in 1937 married Antonina Ivanovna Nesterova, daughter of an ataman of the Don Cossack Host, who finished the Don Institute Boarding School for Noble Young Ladies in Belaya Tserkov, Yugoslavia. In 1949 the Selinsky family moved to Trieste, Italy, where they lived for four years with other Russian families in a refugee camp, finally arriving in New York, USA, in 1953 when Theodore was 11 years old.

Since early childhood, Theodore was close to the Church and grew up among Russian émigré youth. He was an altar boy in the Synod Cathedral in New York, attended the Synod Sunday School and participated in the St. Vladimir youth clubs. In the summer, he was a camper in NORR (Russian Explorers) and at the Tolstoy Foundation. For several years, along with other Russian-American adolescents, he served as a volunteer helper at the St. Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, which left an indelible spiritual impression upon him.

Theodore graduated from CCNY with a major in Physics and received his Masters from the Steven’s Institute. He worked at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, then in the technology field at RCA, Grumman Aerospace, eventually becoming the editor of the major magazine of the US Space Agency – NASA Tech Briefs.

When Theodore Georgievich started his own family with his wife, Ludmila Rostislavovna (née Polchaninoff), who gave birth to their son, George, Theodore became the director of the St. Seraphim parish Sunday School in Sea Cliff, NY, where he also taught Russian history.  For many years, Theodore was also a volunteer at the ORUR (St. George Pathfinders) youth camp and supported various Russian-American charitable and cultural organizations. As a long time parishioner of the St. Seraphim’s Church, he also became the Parish Council’s secretary, an obedience he carried out until his sudden and untimely passing on July 28th, 2015 – by God’s grace, the day of the 1000th Anniversary of the expiry of Great Prince St. Vladimir, equal to the Apostles, who baptized Russia. Theodore Georgievich also loved to visit the Novo Diveevo Monastery in NY, where his parents and relatives are buried, and where he himself was buried on July 31st, on the eve of the Feast Day of his St. Seraphim parish.


St. Seraphim Russian Orthodox Church 2015
131 Carpenter Ave.
Sea Cliff, NY 11579