St. Gregory Cantor George Tichi Celebrates 90 Years
After George Tichi left the operating room following bypass surgery to alleviate blocked arteries in 2000, the first words out of his mouth was a Troparion.
“When I was coming out of the anesthetic, I vaguely remember I was singing the Troparion from Theophany,” said the cantor at St. Gregory in Upper St. Clair, Pa. of 45 years.
“The nurses and doctors were startled; (they) wanted to know what I was saying. The nurse there recognized the melody as being a religious melody.
“I still know the Slavonic rendition of it today. I can sing it off the top of my head.”
After turning 90 years old on May 24, George is still using his voice to praise God.
The coronavirus situation didn’t put a damper on his birthday party, as 34 honking cars filled with family and friends from St. Gregory drove past his house in Mount Lebanon, Pa.
“I was so very surprised. You could have bowled me over. They kept it a secret from me…of all the people who ever
knew about it, nobody ‘spilled it out’. I knew nothing about it,” George said.
“They wouldn’t let me go outside where they had all the preparations and everything. Then I heard someone say,
‘Where are they? When are they coming?’ I didn’t know who ‘they’ were and what ‘they’ were doing. Then I saw the police; when they came down, they turned their sirens on and flashing lights.”
George was born in the Greenfield section of Pittsburgh, Pa. and was baptized, made his First Holy Communion and married his wife of 70 years, Patricia, at St. John Chrysostom.