Rev. Joseph Desmond
FUNERAL HOME
McHugh Funeral Home & Cremation Service
283 Hanover Street
Manchester, NH
MANCHESTER — Reverend Monsignor Joseph E. Desmond, 89 passed away at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center on Friday, February 24, 2012 after a brief illness.

Monsignor Desmond was born on June 23, 1922 in Hazelton, PA, one of four children of Joseph E. and Alice (Bacheller) Desmond. The family moved to Lebanon, NH where he spent his childhood and graduated from Lebanon High School. He went on to Notre Dame University and then completed his ecclesiastical studies at Saint Paul's Seminary in Ottawa, Canada. Monsignor was ordained a priest on May 31, 1947 by Bishop Matthew F. Brady at St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester. In the spring of 1980 he continued his studies in Theological Education by attending the North American College in Rome, Italy.

Monsignor Desmond was assigned as associate pastor of Saint Thomas Aquinas Parish in Derry in June 1947 and then as associate pastor of Saint Mary Parish in Newmarket in June 1948. In June 1949, Monsignor Desmond was assigned as associate pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Dover and then in September 1960 as associate pastor of Saint Paul Parish in Franklin. In February 1961 he served as Temporary Administrator of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Merrimack. In June 1962, Monsignor Desmond was assigned as associate pastor to Saint Anne Parish, Manchester.

In April 1965, Bishop Ernest J. Primeau appointed Monsignor Desmond as pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Wilton. In addition to this assignment he also served as Diocesan Vicar for Religious until October of 1973 while remaining pastor of Sacred Heart Parish. In January 1967, Bishop Primeau appointed Monsignor Desmond pastor of Saint Joseph Parish in Dover and in October 1973 he was appointed pastor of Saint Thomas More Parish, Durham. In June 1982 Bishop Odore Gendron appointed him as pastor of Saint Anne Parish in Manchester. In 1990 Monsignor Desmond retired from active ministry.

In December of 1970 Father Desmond was awarded the Prelate of Honor thereby granting him the title of Monsignor. He also served on the Diocesan Priest Personnel Board, on the Diocesan Vocation Board and as Chaplain to the Manchester area Junior Catholic Daughters. During his retirement, Monsignor Desmond remained actively engaged in parish ministry serving first as Temporary Administrator at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Manchester and Saint Kathryn Parish, Hudson between 1990-1992 before retiring completely and residing at Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Hudson. Family and friends remember Father Joe as a true fan of baseball, a daredevil ski jumper, a sports reporter and a cartoonist. He played several musical instruments and loved hiking in the White Mountains, reading and traveling. He will long be remembered for his humility, wonderful smile and kind spirit.

Monsignor Desmond was pre- deceased by his three sisters, Alice (Desmond) Low, Ruth (Desmond) Cowan and Geraldine (Desmond) Drewniak.

Survivors include several nieces and nephews: David Low, Margaret Halacy and Elizabeth Buch, children of Alice; Mary Schau, Bridgette Vickers, John Cowan, Margaret Cole, Sheila LeBarge and Joseph Cowan, children of Ruth; Daniel Drewniak, Martha Moritz, Stephen Drewniak, Mary Connolly, Susan Jodoin and Stanley Drewniak, children of Geraldine. Many fond memories of "Uncle Joe" will always remain with them. Father Joe also had many friends that he had grown close to over his many years as a priest around the state of New Hampshire.

On Tuesday, February 28, 2012, the Rite of Reception of the Body will take place at Saint Joseph Cathedral, 145 Lowell Street, Manchester at 9:30 a.m. Monsignor Desmond will lie in state from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, will preside at a Mass of Christian Burial at Saint Joseph Cathedral at 11:00 a.m. The Rite of Committal will be celebrated after Mass at Saint Joseph Cemetery in Bedford, New Hampshire. The McHugh Funeral Home of Manchester has care of the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Bishop Peterson Residence (Check made out to NHCC with notation on Memo Line: In Memory of Msgr. Desmond and mailed to NH Catholic Charities, PO Box 686, Manchester NH 03105-0686). Or to the Priests Retirement Fund (check made out to RCBM with notation on Memo Line: In Memory of Msgr. Desmond and mailed to Mr. Guy Chapdelaine, PO Box 310, Manchester, NH 03105-0310). Condolences may be offered at www.mchughfuneralhome.com.

Visit www.fosters.com/obits for an online guest book.

Published by Foster's Daily Democrat from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2012.
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132 Entries
Dear Father Joe, there is not a day that goes by that we don't think of you and the powerful impact you had on us and our family, you are truly missed but we do believe that you are always there watching over and guiding us, God Bless You, Noel and Nancy
Nancy Taylor
October 28, 2012
Father Joe married us back in 1985. We're still going strong. He was in integral part of our process and we are always grateful. May he rest well having done God's good work.
Karen Kelley
October 27, 2012
It is overwhelming the number of people that father Joe has touched. He has been an inspiration through multiple generations of our family and I am truly blessed in the ways that he has blessed our family. Father Joe not only guided my husband and I in our marriage, my husbands confirmation, and the baptism of our two children he also shared with us his love of life! He truly had a young soul that reached out to all generations. I look at his picture today with tears in my eyes, tears of sadness as we miss him very much but also tears of joy knowing that he is with God and is shining his grace amongst us ALL! You will be with us always Father Joe!
kelly Talbot
April 28, 2012
I was an alter boy at St. Ann's Parish. I have very fond memories of the wonderful way Fr. Desmond treated all of us and made us feel important and part of the church.
John Bruno
March 25, 2012
Deepest sympathies to the family of Fr. Joe. I met Fr. Joe in Ireland 16 years ago while he was celebrating his 50th anniversary in the priesthood with his friend and fellow priest Fr. Jack Honan. Fr. Jack and Fr. Joe's warmth and kindness helped make this fellow tourist a lot less homesick. I kept in touch with Fr. Joe periodically over the next few years and as recent as this summer found out that he was living in a retirement home (for "old duffers" as he put it!) and wrote to thank him for the wonderful memories that he gave me from our trip to Ireland so many years ago. I received a beautiful card from him only a few short weeks ago and I was so happy to be back in touch with him. I was so saddened to receive a letter from Florida today informing me of Fr. Joe's passing. I will always be grateful for having met him and know that he will always be remembered in my thoughts and prayers.
Anne (Lenahan) Londregan
March 19, 2012
Fr. Joe,
You are with me as I write this and I am comforted reading the words of your family and friends and looking at your photos. I was in Italy when you left this earth and I mailed you a card the day of your funeral. How could I have known... I looked forward to sharing this trip with you on my return. I lost my gloves at noon that day when I picked up my grandson at ski school. My son and I found them near the ski lift later that afternoon. (Things that make you go Hmmm...in retrospect) Someday I hope to be able to ask you: "Did you have something to do with that?" You are still with us and we are glad. Rest in peace, dear friend.
Terri McKenney
March 12, 2012
My deepest sympathies to Fr. Joe's family,
There are no words to ease the aching hearts of those who loved him. No words to fill the void his passing leaves. Our only consolation in this sorrow, is that he is, at last among the angels, where he belongs. Heaven has won another saint to make it brighter, while earth's a little darker without his shining presence. Father Joe was everything he was called to be, and much more. His humility and unassuming gentleness was such an inspiration and example for all of us.
As I read the messages in this book, I could feel the real love and emotion with each story of his goodness. We all were privilaged to know Father Joe and to know him was to love him.
When my husband, Dan, was out of work and we were sinking, he kept him busy, working at St Anne's. He was such a kind and true friend. When Dan was on his deathbed, Joe came to Manchester from Hudson, to give him last rites. It was an icy, awful Friday Jan 13th,'95. He was always there for us, and we loved him dearly.
Father Joe's smile will always be in our hearts, as his words will live in each of our memories. He healed our fractured spirits with his comforting presence. In our sadness, we can feel joy, that Father Joe has achieved his goal....to be with God. May he rest in peace....until we meet again.
Violet Sullivan
March 7, 2012
Everyday we have another entry telling us how Father Joe has had an impact on their lives. We are all so much richer for having known Him and now I feel doubly blest to have also had the opportunity to meet his Family and so many of his wonderful Friends. God Bless you, Father Joe, Nancy Taylor
Nancy Taylor
March 3, 2012
To Father Joe's family - Please accept my sincere condolences at your great loss. Father was such an inspiration and example to me and my classmates at St. Mary High School in
Dover, NH. He would come to one of the classes, make a few jokes, and then become our spiritual adviser. What a wonderful, kind human being he was and faithful to our Faith.

In 1954, he gave me a lovely miraculous medal which I always treasured and I have that medal right here today. He was always gracious and thankful for any little deed or help he would receive. He was so good to so many.

I had not seen Father in quite awhile, but he would pop up in my mind and it would make me smile. And, now, he has received his true reward and God will bless him.

I wish each of you many happy memories of Father Joe.

In sympathy,

Annette (Silver) Cockburn


e
March 3, 2012
Father Joe, you were one of the kindest, sweetest, gentlest men I ever knew. Your smile was infectous and your humble, quiet ways made all who knew you feel happy and loved. I am so thankful that I was priviledged to be one of your Eucaristic Ministers, at St Anne's. Both my son, Eric, and his cousin Curtis recieved their first Holy Comunion from you and were altar boys for you. Please keep watch over all of us who knew you and loved you, and continue to guide our way. God Bless You!
suzie Michaud
March 3, 2012
Dear Uncle Joe,
I will remember you as an adventurer, a traveler, a deep soul; who was well read on all arts, literature, and poetry! You always amazed me with your never ending knowledge and inspiration for the arts. I was trying to think of something in this world that I could compare your life to. On my travels through Europe, one moment stuck out in my mind; which was when I saw the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. I've included this image of the Pantheon because to me it makes me think of you. Sometimes in darkness, there is a person who can always shine light on any situation no matter how difficult it might be. You were that person for me. I will always look up to you for that. Even your presence, you wouldn't have to say anything and I could understand the endless love you had for not only your family, but humanity. I will miss you more than you will ever know.
Thank you endlessly for my artistic inspiration that will last a lifetime.

Love You Endlessly and I will see you in another lifetime
Nicole LeBarge
Nicole LeBarge
March 2, 2012
Always in my heart.
Peggy Davis-Clark
March 2, 2012
Dear Father Joe,
What a wonderful person and great friend you have been to me over the years.
I always looked forward to Sunday Mass and your sincere sermons at St. Thomas More during my years at UNH.
Also,I will never forget your kind words of comfort in time of need on the eve of my mom's passing 5 years ago today.
And I will always remember the good times, especially seeing you regularly as a faithful fan of UNH hockey at lively Snively Arena. Everytime I noticed you in the stands while I was playing in the games it gave me a spiritual uplifting that I could never explain.
Thank you for everything Father, I will miss you dearly and love you with all my heart.

Your friend,
Jon Fontas UNH Hockey '78
March 1, 2012
Fr. Desmond was a dominant presence in my life as a teen. From the art classes he taught at St. Mary's to directing the plays at the Showboaters' Barn during the summers, he always was an example of the best within humanity and within the priesthood. He will be missed. Loving thoughts and prayers.
Judy Navelski-Calise
March 1, 2012
To all of Fr. Joe's family and friends

Your email addresses are not coming through with your request....please re send to "[email protected] and putting "Fr. Joe in the subject box...thanks
Marilyn Pettigrew
March 1, 2012
Connie Bell and others...please include
your email address so that I can forward a copy of the tribute for Fr. Joe. You can email me directly at [email protected] Be sure to put Fr. Joe in the subject box.
Marilyn
Marilyn Pettigrew
March 1, 2012
Father Joe

His presence was God's Love.
He listened and you knew
He heard.

His words were God's Love.
He spoke and you knew
He understood.

His smile was God's Love.
He was there and you were
Warmed once more.
Peggy Low Halacy (neice)
March 1, 2012
As I read ALL the wonderful messages for
Msgr Desmond I feel so grateful that I too new him well. He was all those kind comments that were made . I was only seven years old when I met him in Derry N H he gave me my first Holy Communion . I have been blessed to have been able to touch base with him through the years , most recent visiting him at The Bishop Peterson Residence . Thank-YOU Father and God Bless .
Your Friend ,
Connie ( Sutton ) Bell
February 29, 2012
Dear Fr. Desmond: I will always remember you as a wonderful kind hearted priest. The shows that you produced at St Mary's High were remarkable. You were indeed a talented and gifted priest. May your soul rest in peace and may God Bless You.
Ellen (Hourihan) Averett
February 29, 2012
Please include your email addresses so that I can forward the tribute to those of you would like to have a copy.
Marilyn Pettigrew
February 29, 2012
Uncle Joe,
I have wonderful memories of you being the fun and silly uncle when we visited Papa and Nana. Hiding in the grape arbour, digging a wonderful rowboat in the sand at Hampton Beach, and rocking us on the big hammock were early memories. As I grew I learned to appreciate your quiet and loving ways with all those around you. You were there for my wedding and always a support for our mom and dad. I am so glad that I was able to visit with you this last September.
You will be missed and live in the hearts of the many that you have touched.
Betsy Low Buch
February 29, 2012
To all Fr. Joe's dear family and friends, we were all blessed to have known Fr. Joe and I send my deepest sympathy. He was a living example of Christ's humility and love. While at St. Joseph's in Dover, Fr. Joe taught an art class at St. Mary High and introduced me to oil painting. When you were in Fr. Joe's presence, you knew through his quiet and gentle way that you were experiencing God's love.
Rose (Behan) Dougherty
February 29, 2012
I was stuck in a local factory, restless, not knowing where or how to turn my life around when Fr. Desmond arranged for me to go to Springhill College in Mobile Alabama to play baseball.This one event changed the direction of my life forever for which I am grateful. Fr. Desmond was one of the few men you would label as a giver not a taker--he was always looking to help someone, anyone and thus touched many lives because of that gift. Dover could use more men like Joseph Desmond.
Russ Williams Dover, New Hamp
russell williams
February 29, 2012
Anyone wishing to have a copy of the final tribute to Fr. Joe could contact me via email with "Fr. Joe" in the subject box and I will be happy for forward a copy to you.

Marilyn (Maggie) Pettigrew
Marilyn Pettigrew
February 29, 2012
Dear Uncle Joe you were there at all the time for me. All my three sons were baptised by you. You were there at Charles and my wedding. Your words of comfort were a constant in my life. You offered a challenge to living our daily life to the best that we can be for the greater glory of God. You had a sense of humour to rival the best. Your loving niece Bridget (England)
Bridget Vickers
February 29, 2012
Over 30 years ago my life had come unhinged (wouldn't be the last time) after "coming out of the closet" to my parents. Many younger people today will never comprehend the suffering this announcement could cause an ordinary suburban roman catholic family, nor the dark options one would consider reasonable to avoid the shame.

When the initial "shock" (hard to imagine in hindsight) and physical illness (drama drama drama) began to fade, my mother sent me to visit our priest, Fr. Joe Desmond. I suppose in that era, she assumed he would soak me in incense, say 3 Hail-Mary's and all would be well. I had no clue what to expect, but was terrified.

I remember sitting across from Fr. Joe in his office while he patiently waited for words. When I finally croaked out the news, he put his hands on my face and lifted my eyes to his. He flashed his crooked grin and said..

"David, there is nothing inconsistent with being a homosexual and being a good Christian or a good man. Christ never said a word about WHO we should love, or who not to love. He only told us HOW to love. The wrong person is in my office, go live your life truthfully.... I will call your parents, they need me a lot more than you do."

From that moment to today, his wisdom, humility, crooked smile and soft voice became woven in to the tapestry of my family's life. For over 30 years he walked by parents' side as he led them deeper in to an enlightened and authentic faith. He was always present -- baptizing, christening, and marrying many Fuller's -- often privately, in our own living room. He accompanied my parents on vacations, traveled across the country to marry my brother Stephen to his wife Jodi. For each of the last 30+ years my parents have taken him to lunch for his birthday -- where ever he was stationed.

By quietly dropping a stone in the waters of my family's beliefs that day many years ago.. he saved one life. I would not be honoring his life or mine if I did not share this story. Here's hoping the ripples keep rising to flood the shores of ignorance and save many more.

It was my privilege to stand by my parents' side today to honor his life and say good bye to such a kind man. For nearly 90 years, The Reverend Monsignor Joseph Desmond was a humble shepherd, a fisher of men (and women), a healer, a human-rights advocate, wonderful counselor, prince of peace and my family's everlasting friend.
David Fuller
February 29, 2012
Father Joe, Your Gentle guidance and support helped me thru some difficult times. I felt truly blessed to call you friend. You will be missed in this world. Thank you for the person you were.
Jo Pettigrew
February 28, 2012
Fr. Joe is a great loss to everyone he touched. He is such a kind and gentle soul and example of how we all should be. His homilies were so articulate and beautiful and at the same time powerful. I owe him so much. He was a great friend and planted the seeds of my vocation. He was truly a living saint and I pray he will intercede for all of us in God's heavenly kingdom.
Deacon Jack Rhine
February 28, 2012
We will never forget how you loved to come over for a barbeque or just for a quiet dinner and great conversation. You were a SPECIAL person who truly graced this world. We will always love you.

The John Russell Family
February 28, 2012
Father Desmond married my husband and I almost 41 years ago and counting. Thank you.
David & Pam Rouleau
February 28, 2012
DURING THE EARLY YEARS STARTING IN 1972 WHEN I WAS A MEMBER OF ST JOSEPHS FOLK GROUP" IN DOVER ,FATHER DESMOND WAS VERY SUPPORTIVE OF EVERYONE AND A FRIEND TO EVERYONE.SUCH A CARING PERSON . GOD BLESS YOU FATHER DESMOND. gary otash
gary otash
February 28, 2012
I was 14 when Father Joe arrived in Durham. Like many teenagers I would rather have snoozed away Sunday mornings instead of attending 9am Mass. But Fr. Joe's sermons kept me coming back long after I had left home and the Durham community.

In his empathic, true-and-loyal-friend demeanor, Fr. Joe spoke directly to me as he delivered his sermon, the subject always germane; like an unforgettable movie on the big screen, his homilies left me with many ideas/plots to ponder/review. He made me think outside the little box of home, Durham, NH, the USA, the world. Fr. Joe made me believe in a Higher Power.

Fr. Joe left St Thomas More in Durham and I stopped attending church; but because of the positive spark of faith I learned from Fr. Joe, the flame still burns. I begin each day walking my little dog, thanking the Higher Power for my blessings. I have faith in a more simple life, focused on family, friends and helping others.

What wisdom and love Fr. Joe shared with us. Imagine being able to get a sleepy teenager to church for Mass because of his sermons. I wish I had a book of Fr. Joe's homilies to reread now. I could glean even more from those words.

Thank you, Father Joe, for your selflessness, your hearty laugh (which never ceased to surprise me coming from such a quiet person), your watercolor work, your flowing poetry in your just as artistic handwriting, and for just being so cool!
Please say, "Hi" to Dad, Chris and Pete for me. Oh, and if there are Black and Tans there, have one with Dad, okay?
HUGS!
Martha
Martha Mower
February 28, 2012
The death of Reverend Monsignor Joseph E. Desmond has saddened the members of the Burke family of Dover, New Hampshire. I was an altar boy at Saint Joseph Church, in Dover, when, in June 1949, Father Desmond arrived in Dover. In the coming years, he had a great influence on my life and the lives of many people in Dover. He was the first Notre Dame graduate I ever met. I soon became aware of his love of sports and his skill as a writer and journalist.When, in later years, I shipped off to the Army, he gave me good advice: take one day at a time and say your prayers.
Arthur Burke
February 28, 2012
My wife and I are very sorry hear that
Father Joe has died.He was a great friend
a wonderful priest. We will miss him and will keep him in our prays.
Maureen and George Olesen Andover Ma
February 28, 2012
Uncle Joe, I will always remember with great fondness our times together and was so glad that you were able to meet my beautiful wife Kalina. Many will miss your guidance and inspiration. With much love...
David, Kalina and Andrzej Cruickshank
February 28, 2012
Father Joe touch our hearts and lives. I have never meet anyone as kind and full of life as Father Joe he was truly as gift from God and I am so greatful to have meet him. Father Joe will forever be part of our family in our hearts and prayers!
Sheila Albanese
February 28, 2012
Fr. Desmond was an extraordinary man and those who made his aquaintence were very lucky ones indeed. Fr. Desmond married us baptized one of my daughters and two of my grandchildren. He was a gentle soul,full of compassion and humility. He will truly be missed. Dick and Diane Dooda, Carmel, CA
February 28, 2012
What happened,Joe? The pictures of you (before the priesthood) with hair are great. You would have a comeback for this.....I know!
love Maggie-Now
Marilyn Pettigrew
February 28, 2012
Kerri Antosca
February 27, 2012
My condolences are extended to Fr. Joe's family and friends who will deeply miss this exceptional man. Fr. Joe was an outstanding priest, friend and mentor to all who were blessed with his presence in their lives. He left an indelible mark in his own quiet way, with sensitivity, compassion, humility, a good sense of humor and above all, a deep love of God which reflected like a light for others on the path of life. I first met Fr. Joe when I worked at Catholic Social Services many years ago, and witnessed his kindness and compassion to so many who leaned on him for guidance and spiritual support. Fr. Joe, some say a light has gone out for those who have loved you – yet we know your light will always shine in our hearts. You lived a life of generous giving to others and will always be remembered by those whose lives you have touched. “Well done, good and faithful servant… Now enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:23). Vaya con Dios, Fr. Joe, and may you reap the rewards of your exemplary life for all eternity. God bless…
Marie Jennings
February 27, 2012
Condolences to Fr Joe's family on his passing. He was a gentle soul with a ready smile that lit up his whole being. One of my fondest memories is hiking Mt Chocorua with him - he really enjoyed the mountains and I was so fortunate to share that day with him.
Mary Gabriel, Vass, NC
Mary Gabriel
February 27, 2012
A few words on the passing of Fr Joseph Desmond.

Friends like Fr Joe dont pass through this world very often, if at all. What a privilege it has been for us to treasure and enjoy his friendship for over 30 yrs.

Whether it was sharing a bit of prose or poetry, walking on the beach, hiking on a mountain, cheering on the Red Sox or quenching our thirsts with a Black and Tan, it was always a comfort and a joy to be together.

Now we are left with uncountable memories.

As a priest, he was there helping God reveal Himself through acts of kindness and gentle love. In his reverence and spirituality he seemed to know Jesus well. We believe He will be there to welcome him home.

Chuck and Anne Knowles (St Thomas More Durham NH)
Chuck/Anne Knowles
February 27, 2012
While serving us at St Paul's in Franklin, Fr. Desmond introduced us as elementary school students to theater and music by producing two wonderful minstrel shows. He was a wonderful man, very kind and patient.
Celeste Richard Couture
February 27, 2012
60 years is a long time to have a friend like FR Joe. What a blessing HE
was to me and my family. HE was always there when I was young and
when I married HE was again their when I lost my babies and my husband. Phyllis Howard and I spent a day with HIM this past fall and we
Reminise about the old days and laughed and laughed. You will be missed my dear friend .You were family and loved
Jeannette Printy. St.Croix,US Virgin Island
February 27, 2012
Fr. Joe was the kindest, gentlest man I have ever known, and I am honored to call him my Godfather. His family is in my prayers.
Ruth Judd
February 27, 2012
Finally, and at last, you rest in the arms of the great High Priest whom you served so faithfully. I will always be indebted to you for your love and support. You will always be one of my greatest blessings and I will miss you so. My God grant your family and your many friends great comfort and consolation.
Dick Munsey
February 27, 2012
I grew up looking up to Father Desmond while he was a parish priest at St. Joseph's in Dover. He perfortmed the wedding ceremony for my wife and I. Such an easy person to speak to and be with. My wife and I wish his family our sincerest condolences.
Patrick Mone
February 27, 2012
Fr. Joe agreed to marry us in Durham in 1989, and we were always grateful. His gentle, loving way will always be remembered and cherished. We know God will bless him and his family.
Dana & Anna Boudreau
February 27, 2012
This world will not be the same without you Joe - but it is a better place because of you. We will miss you so much! Don & Rochelle Tyson. (Tryon, North Carolina)
February 27, 2012
Dear Fr. Joe,

All of us were blessed to experience your happy spirit and loving ways. You are forever in our hearts. We will miss you but know that God is taking great care of you. May God bring peace to all of your loved ones.

Lots of love,
Joyce & Wayne Nadeau
Joyce Nadeau
February 27, 2012
Our condolences to all of Fr. Joe's family. He married us in 1982 and we had the pleasure of calling him friend ever since.He was a true biblical scholar and the best hmilist we ever heard.His gentle ways and soft smile would draw you into a sense of peace just by being in the same room. He will always live on in our hearts.
Roland & Muriel Soucy
February 27, 2012
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
The Staff of McHugh Funeral Home
February 27, 2012
Fr. Desmond, you will be greatly missed. You were a great blessing to us all and a wonderful example of Christian love, humility and charity.
Daniel Horan
February 27, 2012
Fr. Joseph was one of the kindest, most gentle souls I ever met. He and my mother became close when they both needed a friend. I thank God they found one another. He was a gift and I will always smile when I think of him.
Amy Sheehan
February 27, 2012
Our Dearest Joe - you are a wonderful man and a beautiful priest. Thank you for all the love you have shared in our lives and may you rest in God's care. Love, Cecile & Jim Bonvouloir
February 27, 2012
Fr. Joe, you have touched our lives in so many beautiful ways, we feel so blessed to have had you in our lives, you will be miss dearly. Love, Laura and Roland Cloutier
Laura Cloutier
February 27, 2012
He was such a wonderful priest. I am grateful to have known him.
Carol Caporale
February 27, 2012
Joseph - I wanted to be sure to light a candle for you. Patti
Patricia Claflin
February 27, 2012
Father Joe performed our wedding way back in 1972. I have thought of him often over the years. He was an example of kindness, gentleness, and patience. In my mind he was the way a priest should be! All of these attributes based on Love! I can only say thank you Father Joe for our premarital counseling and for the Lords Blessing that you bestowed upon us! My wife Linda and I celebrate our 40th anniversary this year! Thanks for starting us off on the right path. May God give you Love and Joy abundantly as you have done for so many others. God Bless Father Joe for a job well done as a faithfull servent.
Robert Kinnison
February 27, 2012
Our fondest memories were spent with Father Joe at our many trips together to Boston Theater. Father married my wife and I after our wedding classes which was a very memorable experience for all of us. Later as he baptized our four children, he truly was part of our family. Rest in peace and go Red Sox and Notre Dame.
Steve Beals
February 27, 2012
In my thoughts.
Caroline Stanger
February 27, 2012
I did add a message prior but wanted to add a candle. Bless you for all you did and everyone you helped. You where a truely wonderful man.
Kim Joviak and Family
February 27, 2012
Dear Fr. Joe,
We have so many wonderful memories of our time with you! Dinners, and all the stories you shared with us. Trips to visit Ruthie, and then having lunch at the seacoast. Visits to the Currier Museum, going for an ice cream, going to plays in Boston....and many more! You were the holiest person I have ever known on earth! Always there for us.....in good times and troubled times. You were an excellent example of what we all should strive to become! Serving the Lord, serving others, being kind, compassionate, thoughtful, patient, and putting the Lord first in our lives. I remember asking you one time, "How is it that you are always so patient, and kind, and giving?" You replied "I think I received these gifts from my Mom & Dad. They set the example for me and my sisters." Well....now you can rest in peace with them in heaven and catch up on things.
Thank you for sharing your life with us. Please watch over us and continue to guide us.
Debbie & Chris Talty
February 26, 2012
I remember my mom talking often about Father Joe. She felt he was a kind soul and enjoyed his services. She wasn't happy when he moved on. It was a loss to her and his other followers. He is with our God now as my mom is. Hoping they renew their friendship. Nancy France Gonic
February 26, 2012
Father Desmond was truly the nicest man you could ever meet. He was soft spoken, calm and reassuring. I consider it an honor to have had the privilege of knowing him while he was at St. Joseph's in Dover. My condolences to his family. Although he will be truly missed, you can take comfort in knowing that he made the lives of many people much brighter and much happier in the time he was with us.
Brian St. Onge
February 26, 2012
I was saddened to hear of Father Desmonds'
passing. I have lots of good memories of him while he was pastor in Wilton. He was a good leader and a joy to work with.
Thomas Mahoney Sr.
February 26, 2012
Just to add that at the end of our original entry, we added a little heart, but it was interpreted in cyberspace as a question mark. There is no question that we meant a heart. Fr. Joe will indeed always be in our hearts.
Bill & June Schulte
February 26, 2012
"Going My Way" had their Father O'Malley. We in Dover had our Father Desmond. His guidance was invaluable to myself and my classmates at St. Mary's.
Ann McKone Maloney
SMA '52
SMHS '56
Ann Maloney
February 26, 2012
You will be sorely missed Father Joe. Rest in peace and know that you have positively impacted so many. We have so many fond memories that bring smiles to our face and know that you are back in the care and love of our Lord. With much love Dennis, Cindy, Erin, Meghan and Mallory DuBois
Dennis DuBois
February 26, 2012
If there is a person who exemplifies the prayer of St Francis, it is Father Desmond. I will always remember him with love and faith. Helen Poworoznek Allaire
Helen Allaire
February 26, 2012
Roland Soucy
February 26, 2012
Fr. Joe married us in 1974 and baptised all five of our children. From teaching us classes on true faith, to sharing Eucharists little and large, to discussing matters of depth, and sharing with us a meal blessing ["Go God Go" and the short version "Yay God"], his listening heart, kindness and humility remain for us a vital guiding light. Deeply beloved, Fr. Joe will always be in our hearts. ?
"Well done, good and faithful servant."
Bill & June Schulte
February 26, 2012
My family and I were blessed by Rev Joe's guidance at St John the Evangelist Parish in Hudson, NH as we raised our children. We will remember his kindness and humor all the days of our lives.
R.I.P. Rev Joe.
Love, Micki Harris and family
February 26, 2012
Fr. Desmond was a kind and wonderful priest who showed me much kindness while he served at St. Joseph's Church in Dover. I have placed a Christmas ornament that he gave me on my tree for many years. The tradition will continue and I will hold his memory in my heart.
Pati Frew-Waters
February 26, 2012
Fr. Joe was without a doubt the most inspiring holy man. As a student at St. Mary's in Dover, he was a friend to all and taught me the way to live my life. I am a better person for it! He is truly with God now.
Mary Ann Crocco-Roberge
February 26, 2012
I will always remember 6 PM Sunday mass with my family and Fr Joe at St Anne's. Thank you for being our priest and for guiding our family. Rest in peace.
George Connolly
February 26, 2012
What a kind wonderful man! He married us in 1967 & then baptized our children. God speed Father Desmond.
Pat & Nancy Farley
Pat & Nancy Farley
February 26, 2012
Fr. Joe was a dear friend and confidant. I have many good memories of our times together. He was a kind and gentle man. Rest in Peace. Love always.
Donna Childs
February 26, 2012
Dear Joe, Your journey has ended here and what a jounery it was. You had a wealth of gifts and you used them well to touch people in all manner of healing ways. You were a grace to me and I was proud to call you my friend. May you rest in peace.
Phil Petts
February 26, 2012
To Peg (Halacy) and family,
Father Joe became a part of my life story during his time in Franklin. He nurtured so many of us when he directed our shows and without us knowing, we learned so much history with the songs he chose. My family and I still talk of those times with great fondness even after all these years. That is a true tribute to a remarkable man. My sympathies to you all for your loss.
Kathy Keegan Malsbenden
February 26, 2012
There are people that you remember for a lifetime because of the gentleness and humility they present. Father Joe was certainly that someone. You may have left this earth but will always be in our hearts. Sincere condolences to all who loved him. Ralph & Paula Dagenais (Dunnellon Fl)
February 26, 2012
Dear Father Joe, thank you for bringing me into Catholism in 1987.cynthia sweet horan manchester nh 03104
cynthia horan
February 26, 2012
Dear Father Joe, Your warm spirit and kind heart has helped me through some very difficult times. Your lovely cards and letters, along with your promise of prayers will always remain deep within my heart. To me, you were an angel on earth and now I truly believe you are with our Lord and Savior and his multitude of angels. When you see my Dad tell him I love him with all my
heart. God Bless and Be with you Father Joe. May you be at
peace with God. We have lost a most holy soul, but Heaven gains
You. I'll love you all the days of my life. Watch over me and my
family from up above. God Love You. Susan Inglis
Susan Inglis
February 26, 2012
Love you, Fr. Joe. Art Connolly
Artthur Connolly
February 26, 2012
FATHER DESMOND WAS OUR PASTOR WHEN WE WERE IN GRAMMER SCHOOL AT ST MARY'S IN DOVER, NH AND HE MARRIED US AFTER WE GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL (1956). HE WILL ALWAYS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN OUR HEARTS. MAY HE REST IN PEACE WITH THE LORD.
MIKE & NANCY HICKMAN
February 26, 2012
Father Joe, you touched our lives in so many ways, our family has been enriched by having you in our lives. We enjoyed all the time that we were able to share, you were like our personal tour guide when we visited the seacoast area. It was remarkable how you shared so many wonderful stories about our early history. We will treasure all the memories in our hearts and be forever grateful to have had you with us. We remember our trip to Mt. Monadnock, raining all the way but when we got there, it stopped and a beautiful rainbow appeared! Many Thanks for so many wonderful days and times, Lovingly, Noel & Nancy Taylor
Noel & Nancy Taylor
February 26, 2012
God Bless Father Desmond, we reember the time you came to our house with a Mass. And, you answered some question for our quest. You were honest and streight forward with your answers. We always remember that. RIP Father.
Richard Labrie
February 26, 2012
Noel & Nancy Taylor
February 26, 2012
Father Joe: I was so blessed to have you as a friend. You were the most loving and caring person who brought sunshine into everyone's life. You will be truly missed. Love, Janet
Janet Hegarty
February 26, 2012
Father Joe I will so desperately miss you. You where there for my family and myself always. Never to busy to always welcome no matter what was going on. I will always remember you and am greatful to have had you in our lives. God bless you and your family. Will miss you dearly.
Kim Joviak
February 26, 2012
Maggie Cole
February 26, 2012
Fr. Joe has been a part of my life since High School Days at St. Mary's in Dover. Such a kind and gentle soul. He was truly a humble man. Too many memories to share here. Proud to have known him.
Judy Taylor Frappier, York, ME
February 26, 2012
Father Joe~

One of the kindest, most caring man I have ever known. It has been many years, but I will never forget his integrity and kind heart. My condolences to all those who loved him.
Dierdre Estes
February 26, 2012
Sheila LeBarge
February 26, 2012
May the grass be ever green
My friend of the better days
For to know you was to love you
And no one speaks of you
Except in praise.
Jake and Carol Ferrin
February 26, 2012
Sheila LeBarge
February 26, 2012
Sheila LeBarge
February 26, 2012
Sheila LeBarge
February 26, 2012
Father Desmond - I will always remember our special times together and know that you have carried our Florida experience with you all these years. I love you and know that you will be looking over me. Patti
Patricia Claflin
February 26, 2012
Dear Uncle Joe,
You always knew the name of the wildflowers when we were hiking,and you could name the moutain peaks like they were your friends. You were funny and adventerious, and full of wisdom. I will always keep you in my heart. I loved your stories, some of which include how to grow a giant pumpkin. You were always eager to make our visits last longer, to go somewhere that had some unusual bit of history .You will be in my thoughts when I am outside in the mountains and on the seashore. You truely made a mark in the world!
Sheila LeBarge
February 26, 2012
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