Rev. Dr. Joseph Pungur

December 18, 1931 - May 9, 2021
May 12, 2021 12 Condolences Print Obituary

It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of our dear father/grandfather Rev. Dr. Joseph Pungur.

Joe was a Reformed and Presbyterian pastor, professor, writer, composer, organist, renowned theologian. He was born in Dunabogdány, Hungary, was ordained into the Reformed Church and was a cantor from 1962. He wrote his doctoral dissertation at the New College in Edinburgh and received his doctorate in theology in 1976 in Budapest. He also served with the Ecumenical Council and the Synod Office. With his family, he moved to Kenya to serve as a professor at St. Paul’s United Theological College (1976-1982). He then served as the pastor of the Hungarian Reformed Churches in Edmonton (1983-1992, 2005-2015) and Calgary (1993-2001). He was adjunct professor of Religious studies at the University of Alberta (1984-1993). In the 1970s he was a member of the World Council of Churches, in 2012 he was the vice-president of the National Association of Hungarians in Canada, and in 2014 he was the editor-in-chief of the Hungarian Reporter (Canada). Beside his books, he published over 200 meditations and essays. He was the editor of the Hungarian World Encyclopedia. He composed 10 organ works and performed organ concerts in Europe, Kenya and North America. He was Chaplain to the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller. The President of the Republic of Hungary awarded him the Small Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic in 1999 and the Officer's Cross in 2017 for his service to Hungarians.

Cherishing memories of his love of God, family and community and his kindness, caring and humour, are his family, congregation, and many friends around the world. He leaves behind wife Elisabeth (Gigi) Soros, daughters Judit (Arnold), Edit, Erzsi (John), Maya (Stephen) and Lydia, and 10 grandchildren: Danielle, Meryam, Christine, Maria, Kane, Monette, Nico, Andrea, Analiese and Eric.

A special thank you to the staff and doctors at Sturgeon Community Hospital for their compassion and kindness. Due to Covid 19 restrictions a private service is being held, with a memorial service at a future date.

In his memory, donations can be made to the Calvin Hungarian Presbyterian Church in Edmonton or Calgary or your local Reformed or Presbyterian church, thank you.
  1. Erzsi and Family,
    We were the Newfoundland part of Joe’s family circle. When we would meet, Joe was a warm welcoming person with a gentle sincere demeanor. We felt a connection with his humanity. Rest in peace. Our deepest sympathy.

  2. Our family is keeping your family in our thoughts and prayers as you navigate this difficult time—and wishing you hope and healing when you’re ready

  3. Erzsi and all the Pungur families,

    Your loss of a devoted, exceptional, and learned man, father, educator, and beautiful soul will forever be felt. I met your father on many occasions and in each case his gentleness, kindness and spirit was evident. My heartfelt sympathy to each and everyone. The world and your world was blessed that he was in it.

    Love, Cath

  4. My thoughts are prayers are with you all throughout this difficult time, my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy.

  5. A devoted husband, father and grandfather, he will be missed.
    His contribution to Hungarian culture is a legacy, that will remain.
    I mourn his passing.

  6. Lydia and family,
    I am honored to have known your father, he was indeed a very kind and gentle, loving person. I am pleased that he enjoyed the Dutch treats I was able to share with you both. Sending you love & hugs, and holding you close to my heart and also in my thoughts.

    With sincere condolences, Terry Dejong

  7. Mikor napomra ráborul az este,
    zúgó szél támad, hüvös áradat,
    és messzi hangok nam járt ösvényekre
    már hivják lábamat.
    Ott hadd tanuljam zengő muzsikában
    az új, a szent , az angyal éneket….
    talájam meg, mit földön vágyva – vágytam,
    a teljes életet.

  8. Őszinte részvétem a családnak.

  9. Rest in Peace Dr. Pungur. Thank you for your kindness and learning.

  10. Dear Friends in Christ,
    Though we have lived here in Edmonton for a few years, Christine and I never got the chance to meet Rev. Dr. Pungur.
    From reading a little of his background, I can see that this has been my loss. My heart goes out to you in your loss, but takes joy in his ongoing impact and legacy.

  11. Fogadjátok őszinte részvétemet a családnak.

  12. My condolences to Maya and the Pungur family on your loss

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