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Roger Racine

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Roger Racine Obituary
Roger E. Racine, 83

Fitchburg/Sterling - Roger E. Racine, 83, passed away peacefully at home with his loving wife by his side on Thursday, May 31, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born and raised in Worcester, Roger was the son of the late Albert and Germaine (Richard) Racine and lived the last 24 years in Sterling.

Roger was a graduate of Assumption Preparatory School in Worcester, class of 1953. Four years later he graduated from Assumption College in Worcester with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Roger followed his heart and the dream of being a priest and enrolled at the Grand Seminaire de Montreal where he received a Bachelor and Masters in Theology, earning the Licentiate of Sacred Studies (SL). After graduating seminary, Roger returned to Worcester and served as a Deacon in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester before his ordination as a priest in 1961, by Bishop Bernard Flanagan, at Saint Paul's Cathedral in Worcester. From 1961 to 1963, he ministered in parishes and was then assigned to Anna Maria College, Paxton to be a Professor of Theology, Department Chair and Campus Minister. Roger especially enjoyed preaching and teaching. He enthusiastically performed in the college's variety shows. From the age of 8 to 80, Roger shared God's great gift of music at weddings, funerals, clergy gatherings and family events. In 1971, he was assigned Assistant Chancellor for the Diocese, joining the then Chancellor Rev. John Morrissey, and the two became the youngest Chancellors in the country at that time. He was also named Director of Pastoral Services and Adult Education, and Advocate and Judge at the Marriage Tribunal. He enjoyed his work immensely but especially cherished doing weekend work in parishes and conducting retreats for adults.

After serving the Diocese for eighteen years, Roger resigned active ministry and married Ann Murphy of Fitchburg on October 5th in Centerville. The couple moved to Westminster where Roger took a position in human resources development at Digital Equipment Corp. In 1979, while working at Digital, he received a Master's in Human Relations and Community Affairs from the American International College in Springfield, MA. He was then transferred to Digital's management center in Marlborough where he was promoted to Director of Training and Development. His last position held was the Southern Northeast Human Resource Development Manager until 1992.

Roger was a devout and active member of St. Richard of Chichester Church in Sterling. He sang in its choir for over 20 years and was a longtime volunteer at the food pantry. As a talented baritone/tenor, Roger sang at funerals in more than fifty parishes. His community involvement included being a director and campaign manager at Our Father's House, Inc. in Fitchburg, which provides transitional housing and supportive services for the homeless. Roger also spent many years volunteering his time as a director at the Catholic Charities of Worcester County. He also served as Training Chair for the United Way of North Central MA Campaign Cabinet, and offered training expertise to the Worcester County Alcoholism Commission for many years. In his retirement, Roger and Ann enjoyed eleven years in Wells, Maine at their summer home. He worked at Fitchburg State University's Newman Center and volunteered at St. Richard Parish's Food Pantry.

Roger will be lovingly missed and cherished forever by his wife of 38 years, Ann M. (Murphy) Racine; a brother, Richard Racine and his wife, Claire of S. Yarmouth; a sister in law, Colleen Murphy McConnon and her husband, James of Westport, CT; twelve nephews and nieces, Ronald Racine of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, John Racine of Sunrise, FL, Richard Racine of Shrewsbury, Marc Racine of Auburn, Robert Racine of Richmond, VA, Patricia Bartoli of Auburn, Terese Lynch of Auburn, John Murphy of Fitchburg, Meagan Deyo of Lunenburg, Kristen Murphy Nunez of Fitchburg, Elizabeth Murphy of Leominster and Kathleen Murphy of Fitchburg; great nieces and nephews; close cousins; classmates and friends. Besides his parents, Roger is predeceased by a brother, Robert Racine; and two brothers in law, Martin and John Murphy.

The family expresses sincere gratitude to GVNA Healthcare for their compassionate and respectful care over the last 14 months and deep appreciation to the St. Richard Parish Family for spiritual and emotional support.

Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Roger's family from 5 to 7 pm on Monday June 4, in his home parish at St. Richard of Chichester Church, 4 Bridge St., Sterling. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am on Tuesday, June 5, at the church. Burial will follow at St. Bernard's Cemetery in Fitchburg. Memorial contributions may be made in Roger's name to the GVNA Healthcare, Patient Comfort Fund, 34 Pearly Lane, Gardner, MA 01440, or St. Richard of Chichester Church's Music Ministry Fund, PO Box 657, Sterling Ma 01564. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Miles-Sterling Funeral and Tribute Center, 100 Worcester Rd., Sterling. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from June 1 to June 4, 2018
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