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Father Lemire, 79

Posted By March 20, 2015 | 2:09 pm | Local
Father Paul W. Lemire receives congratulations from his granddaughter Shellie Lemire after his ordination to the priesthood June 3, 1989 at St. Paul Cathedral.
Father Paul W. Lemire receives congratulations from his granddaughter Shellie Lemire after his ordination to the priesthood June 3, 1989 at St. Paul Cathedral.

The funeral Mass for Father Paul W. Lemire was held Friday at St. Anne Church, 130 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury. Burial is in St. John’s Cemetery in Worcester.
Father Lemire, 79, senior priest in residence at St. Anne’s, died Saturday in UMass Memorial Medical Center-Memorial Campus in Worcester, surrounded by his family.
He is believed to be the Diocese’s only priest who was first a permanent deacon. He was ordained a permanent deacon in 1979.
When his wife, Mary, knew she was dying, they discussed his  becoming a priest, according to Veronika Montiverdi, whose husband, Gerald, is a permanent deacon from the class of 1981.
“She knew that Paul was going to go on to be a priest after she died,” Mrs. Montiverdi said. “She was thrilled. … Ministry – that was Paul’s thing. … I know she was looking down from above on the day of his ordination. … Paul always carried her in his heart.”
He generously gave the Church many years, as a deacon, then as a priest, remarked Father Paul J. Tougas. When Father Tougas, now retired, directed the permanent diaconate program, Deacon Lemire was one of those who assisted him.
“If I encapsulated his life, I would say, ‘Here I am, Lord; I have come to serve,’” said Deacon Philip E. Devine, chaplain at North Central Correctional Institution in Gardner. “If you look at his life – he was a husband, a father, a grandfather, and … a teacher.”
He said Father Lemire, while a deacon, used this experience to help others discern a vocation to the diaconate, and was an excellent listener who gave very good feedback.
“Paul helped me get there,” said Deacon Devine, who was ordained in 1984.
Father Lemire, son of Albert A. and Charlotte (Carlsen) Lemire, was born June 17, 1935 in Worcester.
He attended St. Peter High School, and got his bachelor’s degree and his master’s in education from Worcester State College. He also studied at other institutions, earning more than 30 hours beyond his master’s degree.
He served in the United States Army from July 1954 to April 1958. He taught radio and television station operation and 35mm film production at the Signal School in Fort Monmouth, N.J.
He taught with the Sutton School Department for one year. He then transferred to Auburn High School, where he taught chemistry for 23 years, and was science department chairman. He retired on June 30, 1985.
He was active in his parish, St. Ann in North Oxford, serving as parish council chairman, and also served at St. Joseph Parish in Auburn. He was a lector and religious education teacher and worked for the Bishop’s Fund. He was Scout coordinator for Troop 172 and was Grand Knight of the Auburn Council 4158 of the Knights of Columbus.
He is survived by his children Patricia A. Lemire of Southbridge; Paul W. Lemire Jr., and his partner, Brenda Lemire of Webster; Charlotte A. Broadard and her husband, Anthony, of Worcester, and his daughter-in-law Robin A. (Hochevar) Lemire of Oxford; his grandchildren Shellie, Matthew, Missi, Ashlee, Marc, Jessica, Sean, Jonathan and Kaytlyn; his great-grandchildren Marissa, Faith, Lilliana and Harlei, and several nieces and nephews.
His wife of 25 years, Mary E. (Boyle) Lemire, died in September 1982. He was also predeceased by his son David M. “Red” Lemire and brothers, Donald, George and Charles Lemire.
Having been ordained a permanent deacon June 16, 1979, he studied for the priesthood at Pope John XXIII Seminary in Weston. Bishop Harrington ordained him a priest on June 3, 1989 in St. Paul Cathedral. He was associate pastor of St. Boniface Parish, Lunenburg and in 1991 became associate pastor of St. Mary Parish, Southbridge.
In January 1998 he was appointed temporary administrator of St. Thomas-a-Becket Parish in Barre and in November was appointed pastor.
He was a senior priest at St. Joseph and St. Pius X parishes in Leicester, and senior priest in residence at St. Joseph’s in Auburn and St. Anne’s in Shrewsbury.
Britton-Wallace Funeral Home in Auburn directed the arrangements.