peterandwife sm



Drapela, Victor

drapelaNovember 10, 2013

Tampa, FL
DRAPELA, Dr. Victor J., Ph.D 91, of Tampa, passed away Nov. 10, 2013. He retired in 1992 from the faculty of the University of South Florida as Professor Emeritus. A native of Czechoslovakia, he lived through the Nazi occupation of that country and spent over a year at forced labor in Germany. Later, he witnessed the descent of his country behind the Iron Curtain. In those stressful times, he got his college education piecemeal, at universities of Prague, Fribourg (Switzerland), Rome (Italy) and in the United States, where he arrived in 1950, after narrowly escaping arrest from the communist Czech police. He entered the Catholic ministry in his native country, and after arriving in the States, he spent 18 years in North Dakota as pastor in rural parishes and as a chaplain of a hospital in Grand Forks, where he earned his Doctorate at the University of North Dakota. In 1968, he came to USF to devote the rest of his life to higher education, research and professional writing.

At his request, he obtained a release from the ministry by Pope Paul VI in Rome. At USF, he served as a faculty member in the Counselor Education program for 24 years, 10 of them as department chairman. He authored or edited six college textbooks in English and Czech and numerous articles for professional journals in this country, in Germany and in the Czech Republic. After the collapse of the communist regime, Dr. Drapela volunteered his services as a visiting professor of counseling psychology to the University of Prague which granted him an honorary fellowship. On a personal level, he found happiness, when in 1972 he married his former graduate student, Gwen Blavat Drapela, an elementary school counselor and colleague in his professional field. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Nov. 18, at 10 a.m. at the Catholic Student Center at USF, 13005 N 50th Street, Tampa. Visitation: 9 - 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Charities USA at or Catholic Relief Services at or a charity of your choice