SAGINAW – Father Theodore E. LaMarre, 89, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, died Tuesday morning, June 16, 2009 at St. Francis Home, Shields.
Father LaMarre was born on April 4, 1920, son of Peter and Evilda (Robinette) LaMarre, in Alpena, where he grew up attending St. Anne parish and school.
As a seminarian, Father LaMarre received his priestly formation at St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood on September 22, 1945 by Bishop William F. Murphy at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw.
Father LaMarre’s parish assignments included ministering as assistant pastor at St. Joseph, Saginaw; and as pastor at St. Catherine, Nicholson Hill; St. Joseph, Saginaw, Our Lady of the Visitation, Bay City; Sacred Heart, Birch Run; Visitation, Detroit (Co-Pastor); Sacred Heart, Saginaw; St. Roch and St. Felix of Valois, Caseville and Pinnebog; and St. Elizabeth, Marlette. He also served as the director of Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for the Alpena Deanery and a member of Saginaw’s Urban Task Force. In addition, he was a charter member of the Human Relations Commission in the City of Saginaw and the Civil Rights Commission for the State of Michigan.
He was honored by the American GI Forum for his years of service as a priest and an advocate for the minorities of Saginaw. Father LaMarre also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Bridge Center for Racial Harmony. He had a great heart for the poor and a passion for justice. Father LaMarre was granted senior priest status (retired) in 1993.
Father LaMarre is survived by his brothers and sisters: Armand (A.J.) LaMarre of Roscommon, Madeline Lucas of Alpena, Imogene Manion of Rochester, and Virgil (Gladys) LaMarre of Alpena; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brothers: Albert (Dorothy) LaMarre, Henry LaMarre and Richard (Kathelen) LaMarre; sisters, Rena LaMarre and Sr. Mary Thea LaMarre; and a sister-in-law, Dorothy LaMarre.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 20, 2009 at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption, 615 Hoyt Ave., Saginaw. Committal and burial will take place at Holy Cross Cemetery in Alpena at 1 p.m. on Monday, June 22, 2009.
Visitation will take place at the Deisler Funeral Home, 2233 Hemmeter Rd., Saginaw, from 2 to 8 p.m. on on Friday, June 19, 2009, with a vigil service at 4:30 p.m. and from 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral on Saturday at the Cathedral.
Memorial contributions may be directed to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Saginaw, or the Saginaw Area Loan Assistance Program. Share your thoughts and memories about Father LaMarre at the funeral home, church or online at www.deislerfuneralhome.com.