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With heavy and saddened hearts, we announce the falling asleep in the Lord of the longtime parish priest of St. Sophia in Des Plaines, IL—Stavrofor Economos Grouu Tzonkov.

The Very Rev. Fr. Grouu was called to eternal rest and blessed sleep in the Lord on Friday, October 22, 2021, at the age of 68. Fr. Grouu tirelessly served the parish of St. Sophia for nearly three decades since 1993, until the very last day of his earthly path.

Fr. Grouu was born on July 7, 1953 in the Karlovo region and was the son of a priest. He graduated from the “St John of Rila” Seminary and then the “St Kliment of Ohrid” Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria where he was ordained a priest. He served first in Karlovo then in Plovdiv. In 1990, he became a priest in Detroit, MI, as part of the Bulgarian Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, until 1993, when he moved to Chicago, IL.

He was a champion and instrumental figure in the building of the new temple in Des Plaines, completed in 2002, and was a big supporter of the Bulgarian school, which operates as part of the mission of the parish. After completion of the church and social hall, Fr. Grouu and his family untiringly worked to beautify it inside and out—with a marbled iconostasis, new icons throughout, stain glass windows, and more.   

He is survived by his wife, Popadia Paraskeva, son Dimitar, and grandson. On behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, the Board of Directors, and the Parish Council, and the entirŠµ parish of St Sophia, our deepest condolensces to the family of our beloved Fr. Grouu.

Vech-na-ya Pomyat!  Memory Eternal!  May Father Grouu rest in peace!

The wake will be on Wed, 10/27/21 from 10:00 am. The funeral will be on Thu, 10/28/21 from 11:00 am. Both will take place at St Sophia located at 404 W Oakton St, Des Plaines, IL 60018. 

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