Reverend John F. Gee, a priest of the Diocese of Worcester for 68 years, was blessed with a peaceful death on Sunday, December 5, 2021 in Worcester, at the age of 94.
Fr. Gee was born in Webster, MA on August 4, 1927, the son of John and Anna (Graham) Gee. He graduated from St. Louis High School and attended St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT.
He completed his studies for the priesthood at the Seminary of Philosophy and the Grand Seminary in Montreal.
He was ordained on June 13, 1953, at St. Louis Church, Webster, by Bishop Wright. He served as associate pastor of St. Anne Parish, Southborough; Immaculate Conception, St. Stephen’s, St. Catherine of Sweden and St. Charles parishes, all in Worcester, and Sacred Heart Parish, Gardner.
On February 2, 1971, he was appointed pastor of Holy Spirit Parish, Gardner. In October of 1977, while pastor of Holy Spirit, he served as president of the Senate of Priests.
On February 20, 1981, he was named pastor of St. Michael Parish, Mendon. He was appointed pastor of North American Martyrs Parish, Auburn, on June 29, 1990, where he enjoyed 30 years, which he often called “the best 30 years of my life.”
Fr. Gee had a lifelong devotion to the North American Martyrs and felt truly blessed when he was assigned to be the pastor at their namesake parish. He also had a particular devotion to Kateri Tekakwitha and prayed for her canonization – ultimately leading a delegation of parishioners to Rome to witness the event. He was the driving force behind the development and construction of Kateri Tekakwitha Senior Housing on grounds owned by the parish – as well as Kateri Tekakwitha emergency food pantry in the church basement. Fr. Gee was president of the Board at Kateri Tekakwitha Senior Housing until the time of his death.
He was the brother of the late Nora G. Hogan and Veronica Cannon.
He is survived by many nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews.
Fr. Gee was a lifelong Red Sox fan – from his very first game at Fenway Park at age seven, right up until the day he threw out the first pitch at the Worcester Red Sox game at age 94.
He was well-traveled and spent a sabbatical in Rome, but one of his favorite places on earth was his beloved Hampton Beach, where he spent many summer vacations.
Fr. Gee was also a faithful member of the “Culpepper’s Breakfast Club,” which he attended frequently after morning Mass. He made friends wherever he went and kept them for life. At the end of his life, he still had friends from every parish he served, as well as from his time in Rome and “Happy Hampton.” Fr. Gee continued making friends during his short stay at Southgate at Shrewsbury, enjoying dinners with his brother priests. He loved and was loved by his caregivers there.
Fr. Gee will be long remembered and cherished by all who had the good fortune to know him.
His family requests that flowers will be omitted and memorial contributions be made to the Priest Retirement Fund c/o the Diocese of Worcester, 49 Elm Street, Worcester, MA 01609.
The wake will be held on Thursday, December 9, 2021 from 3:00 – 7:00 PM at North American Martyrs Church, 8 Wyoma Drive, Auburn, MA. A Prayer Service will immediately follow at 7:00 PM. His funeral Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Robert J. McManus on Friday, December 10, 2021 at 11:00 AM. A private burial for family and his fellow priests will follow in Calvary Cemetery in Webster.