The Reverend Geoffrey John Deeker, C.S.S., in residence at Saint Joseph Church (Pittsfield, MA) was born to eternal life on Monday, November 2, 2020, in Dalton, Massachusetts. He was 86 years old, a member of the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers for 66 years, and in his 61st year of priesthood.
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Father Geoff was born on December 26, 1933 in Somerville, Massachusetts, the only child to the late Geoffrey A. and Margaret M. (Coughlan) Deeker. After attending Boston College High School he began his journey to the priesthood on September 14, 1948 when he entered the Stigmatine community in Waltham, MA., and professed his first vows on June 22, 1954. His perpetual profession came five years later on June 22, 1959. After completing his theological studies at Catholic University (Washington, D.C.), he was ordained on June 4, 1960 at Saint Peter's Church in Cambridge by Bishop Thomas Riley. From that day onward he ministered to the People of God with faith, integrity and perseverance.
A devoted member of the Stigmatine community, Father Geoff had an affable personality, quietly sensitive to the people whom he served. He ministered in several communities, always with humility and grace. He served as Parochial Vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (Pittsfield, MA,) Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish (Springfield, MA) and Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish (Waltham, MA.) Father Geoff also generously made himself available to assist with Stigmatine community needs in developing vocations and organizing the liturgy for special occasions. He often volunteered to act as recording secretary for many Stigmatine Provincial Chapters and assemblies, a tedious yet necessary function.
Until its closure in 2008, Father Deeker was the pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he had served for twenty one years. He remained in the Berkshires, however, residing at Saint Joseph’s Church, assisting several local parishes with pastoral ministry, until declining health prevented him from doing what he most loved and enjoyed and had been his vocation for more than sixty years.
Father Geoff will always be remembered for his kindness and gentle nature, and of course, for the enthusiasm he had for whatever he was involved in at the moment. As a young priest he was an avid and stylish bowler and for a while was a devoted scout chaplain. After a stint as chaplain to the Civil Air Patrol, he fell in love with all things aeronautical. But the most enduring memory of Father Geoff was his abiding and lively interest in the liturgical life of the Church. He understood and cherished every aspect of Catholic liturgy and ritual. The liturgy, for Father Geoff, was not simply an historical experience. Father Geoff saw the liturgy as a beautiful and vibrant way to bring a person into the presence of God. He was convinced this was relevant in every age and for every person of any age.
In addition to his parents, Father Deeker is reunited in Heaven with his Stigmatine confreres who preceded him and many friends and parishioners he loved and served as a priest.
Father Deeker’s Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 9, 2020, in Saint Joseph’s Church, 414 North Street, Pittsfield, MA, at 11:00 a.m. A period of visitation will be available in the church on Sunday from 2:00 to 4:00 PM and on Monday morning from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Committal will take place that afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Sacred Heart Cemetery, 109 Medway Road, Milford, Massachusetts. The funeral will be live-streamed from the St. Joseph's Church Facebook page.
Donations in Father Deeker’s memory may be sent to the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers, 123 William Street, Springfield, MA 01105.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health protocols, all who plan to attend are required to wear masks and maintain safe distancing. Bringing your own hand sanitizer is recommended. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.
Requiescat in Pace!