January 30, 2010

Obituary for Fr. Max Frego

Father Max J.V. Frego, 81, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw, died on Friday, January 29, 2010 at the Poppen Hospice Residence in Muskegon.

Father Frego was born on June 23, 1928 in Holland, Mich. He attended Washington Public Schools in Holland, graduating from Holland High School. He then went on to attend Hope College in Holland and went on to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Missouri. He later received his priestly formation at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, St. Jerome College in Ontario, Canada, and St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth.

Father Frego was baptized into the Catholic faith on Sept. 24, 1953 at St. Joseph Parish in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and ordained to the priesthood on June 2, 1962 by Bishop Allen J. Babcock at St. Mary Parish in Big Rapids for the Diocese of Grand Rapids. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Saginaw on July 20, 1971 when the boundaries of Michigan’s dioceses were redrawn upon the establishment of the Diocese of Kalamazoo and Diocese of Gaylord. At that time, he served as pastor for St. Henry Parish in Rosebush and St. Charles Parish in Leaton.

During his priesthood, Father Frego served as assistant pastor at St. Mary Parish in Big Rapids, St. Stephen Parish in East Grand Rapids and St. Adalbert Parish in Grand Rapids.  In 1973, he was appointed pastor for St. Cyril Parish in Bannister, where he served until 1983. He then served as pastor for St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Ithaca and St. Martin de Porres Parish in Perrinton from 1983 to 1992 and as pastor at St. Hedwig Parish in Bay City from 1992 until 1994. Father Frego was granted senior priest status (retirement) on July 20, 1994. In his retirement, he provided ministry assistant at St. Michael, St. Jean Baptiste, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, and Our Lady of Grace parishes, all in Muskegon, Sacred Heart Parish in Muskegon Heights, and St. Ann Parish in Frankfort and St. Joseph in Mapleton.    

Father Frego was preceded in death by his parents George and Hilda Frego. He was a veteran of the Counter Intelligence Corps from the Korean War.

He is survived by his brother and sisters: Don and Arlene Frego of Holland, Patricia and Jack Shinabarger of Holland, Beverly (Harper) and Julius Essenburg of Holland, and Phyllis Tomlinson of Washington, Ill., and several nephews and nieces.

A funeral Mass will celebrated at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church 480 North 152nd Ave., in Holland. The Most Rev. Walter A. Hurley, bishop of Grand Rapids will preside. Burial will take place at the Pilgrim Home Cemetery in Holland.

Visitation will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Our Lady of the Lake Church and from 10 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday prior to the funeral Mass. A Vigil liturgy will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church or the Poppen Hospice Residence. Arrangements have been made by Lakeshore Memorial Services. An on-line registry book is available at www.lakeshorememorial.com.

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