Father Harry E. Giroux, 61, passed away early Monday evening, February 13, 2012 at the Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Ogdensburg.
Father Giroux was born April 14, 1950 in Massena, a twin son of the late Harry E. Sr. and Patricia Munson Giroux. He attended Massena Public and St. Mary’s Parochial Schools. In 1968 he graduated from Holy Family High School. Following high school, Father attended St. John Fisher College in Rochester for one year before transferring to Wadhams Hall Seminary-College in August 1969 and graduating from there on May 28, 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. In August of 1972, he began theological studies and seminary formation at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he completed his studies in the spring of 1976 and was awarded a Master of Divinity degree.
On May 1, 1976, he, along with his twin brother, Father Garry, was ordained a Catholic priest by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg. His first priestly assignment was to Our Lady of Victory Church in Plattsburgh, where he served from June 1976 until June 1978. He was then assigned as the Associate Pastor of Holy Family Church in Watertown and also served as the Campus Ministry chaplain at Jefferson Community College, until being transferred in June 1983 to St. Alexander’s Church in Morrisonville as the Associate Pastor. During his time in Morrisonville, he pursued and received his M.S. degree in psychology from SUNY Plattsburgh, before being transferred to Canton in 1985.
As the Pastor of St Thomas More Campus Parish in Canton from June of 1985 to June of 2000, he also served the campuses of St. Lawrence University and SUNY Canton. During his tenure in Canton, he taught college courses, facilitated the Big Brother/Big Sisters Program and served as the advisor to several fraternities and assisted with a variety of programs on both campuses. In June 2000, he was assigned as pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in West Chazy. In July 2004, Father was diagnosed with Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease, he continued to serve the parish the St. Joseph’s, until his illness forced him to resign his pastorate in June 2006. He then went to reside with his brother, Father Garry, at St. Mary’s Church in Potsdam until July 2008. Father resided with his sister in Cornwall, Ontario from August 2008 until February 2009 when he entered St. Joseph’s Nursing Home.
Father Giroux served as the Diocesan Director of Campus Ministry and the Diocesan Director of Young Adult Ministry. He was artistically talented and traveled throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. He was member of the Knights of Columbus, where he was currently a member of the Watertown Assembly # 259 and the 4th Degree Knights, Plattsburgh Assembly #706.
He is survived by his twin brother, Father Garry B. Giroux, pastor of St. Patrick’s Church, Brasher Falls and St. Lawrence Church, North Lawrence; his sister, Peggy E. Giroux of Lake Wood, Florida; his step mother, Louise Giroux of Massena; his nieces, Faith, Sarah, Leah, and Alexandra; and his stepsisters, Bonnie Jean Phillips of Baldwinsville, Lynn C. Bertrand of Utica, and Mary Lou Bertrand and her husband, Joseph Geglia of Watertown.
He was predeceased by his mother, Patricia on June 2, 1971 and his father, Harry on November 8, 2008.
Father Giroux’s body will be received Monday 2:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Massena with calling hours continuing until 4:00 p.m. Calling hours will resume at 6:30 p.m. and continue until the celebration of Evening Prayer at 8:30 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of Ogdensburg, celebrating along with Father Garry B. Giroux and the priests of the Diocese of Ogdensburg concelebrating. The homilist will be Father Daniel E. White, Diocese of Burlington, Vermont. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Massena.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing may consider memorial contributions in Father Harry Giroux’s memory to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US Highway 11, Potsdam, NY 13676; North Country Mission of Hope, PO Box 2522, Plattsburgh, NY 12901; The Discalced Carmelite Nuns of Beacon New York, Carmel of the Incarnation, 89 Hiddenbrooke Drive, Beacon, NY 12508; St. Joseph’s Nursing Home Foundation, 950 Linden Street, Ogdensburg, NY 13669; or Alzheimer’s Association, Central New York Chapter, 441 West Kirkpatrick Street, Syracuse, NY 13204-1305.
Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of the Donaldson Funeral Home, Massena, where condolences may be made online at www.donaldsonfh.com.