The retired Rev. Dr. John Butosi, 90, of Shelton, husband of the late Lorraine Nickel Butosi, died July 12, 2010.

Born Dec. 18, 1919, in Nyírgyulaj, Hungary, to the late Michael and Elizabeth Becsei Butosi, he was accepted into the Hungarian Royal Kossuth State Realgimnazium of Cegled, where he studied from 1931 to 1939 and received his bachelor's of arts degree.

He then followed his calling to the Tisza Istvan University in Debrecen ,which was interrupted by World War II, when he received his orders to join the Hungarian army.

After the American liberation, he eventually returned to Debrecen and received his bachelor of divinity degree in 1943 and master of divinity degree and certificate of ministerial qualification in 1946.

In December of 1947, his journey led him to America, specifically in Texas at the Austin Presbyterian Seminary briefly, and then to the Princeton Theological Seminary, from which he received his master of theology degree in 1949. Butosi then intended to return to Hungary but was denied re-entry by the communist Hungarian government.

Butosi was then elected to his first pastorate at the First Hungarian Evangelical Reformed Church of Hammond, Ind., (1950-55). He met and married Lorraine Nickel in 1953 and, in 1955, accepted the pastorate of the First Hungarian Evangelical & Reformed Church of McKeesport, Pa., (1955-59), where he also attended the University of Pittsburgh and received his doctorate of philosophy.

Butosi then became the pastor of the Hungarian Reformed Church of Norwalk, where he served from 1960 until 1976, when he was elected pastor of the United Church of Christ in Bridgeport, where he served until his retirement from pastoral ministry in 1989.

The Butosis then bought their home in Ligonier, Pa., and he spent much of his "retirement " traveling extensively in the U.S., Canada, Europe (especially Hungary and Romania), Central America, South America, Africa and Australia.

He taught and chaired the Missiology Department at Debrecen University in Hungary and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

In 2000, he rejoined his daughter and son-in-law at the newly-built addition of their home in Shelton, and shortly thereafter was awarded pastor emeritus of the United Church of Christ in Bridgeport. In his ministry, Butosi served not only his congregations, but his local and worldwide communities, as he served as president of the International Institute of Connecticut, in the Calvin Synod Conference of the UCC -- as secretary, deputy bishop, president-bishop and bishop emeritus.

He was the first president of the Hungarian Reformed World Federation (president emeritus). He served on the executive council of the National and World Council of Churches of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. He supervised pastoral students at Yale University and was an adjunct professor of Hungarian studies at Sacred Heart University.

Butosi was also the author of several books, mostly in Hungarian, and published his autobiography in English, Praise the Lord, O My Soul, in 2007.

He is survived by his daughter, Ann Elizabeth Ballas and her husband, James of Shelton; and his grandchildren, Matthew and Erica Ballas; as well as several nieces and nephews in Hungary.

He was predeceased by his wife, Lorraine; daughter, Sarah Joan Lynch; his brothers, Steve, Mihaly and Michael; and sisters, Julie, Elizabeth and Gisella, all of Hungary.

Funeral services will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 17, at the United Church of Christ, located on the corner of North and Laurel avenues, Bridgeport, with the retired. Rev. Koloman K. Ludwig, bishop emeritus, officiating. Calling hours will take place on Friday, July 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, Fairfield.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the United Church of Christ, 963 Laurel Ave., Bridgeport, CT 06604; or to the John Butosi Memorial Mission Fund, c/o Calvin Synod, treasurer, 1836 Timothy Drive, West Mifflin, PA 15122.

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