Father Thomas J. Smith, at the age of 84, and a priest for 58 years, died Thursday, October 11, 2018, at the Benedictine Manor in La Crosse, Wis.
Thomas Smith was born on February 5, 1934, in La Crosse, Wis., to William Ray and Clarice M. (Newman) Smith. He attended school at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church and attended Aquinas High School in La Crosse, Wis. His college studies were at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse, Wis., and his Theological Education was at Mount Saint Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. On May 14, 1960, he was ordained a priest by Bishop John P. Treacy in La Crosse, Wis.
Father Smith served the following parishes in Wisconsin; St. Charles Borromeo, Chippewa Falls, Wis., St. Mary, Tomah, Wis., St. Anthony, Athens, Wis., St. Patrick, Sparta, Wis., St. Thomas More, La Crosse, Wis., Blessed Sacrament, La Crosse, Wis., St. Patrick, Seneca, Wis., St. James, Rising Sun, Wis., Holy Ghost, Chippewa Falls, Wis., St. Bridget, Springfield, Wis. He also served the spiritual needs of the residents at Bethany St. Joseph Home and St. Joseph’s Rehabilitation Center, both is La Crosse, Wis.
Father Smith was an organist since his early seminary days and he played at many diocesan events. He was dedicated to the Knights of Columbus and served as the Chaplain of councils in Sparta, Colby, Prairie du Chien, Chippewa Falls and the Faithful Friar of the Assembly in La Crosse. From 1967 – 1969, Father Smith served as the first Diocesan Chaplain for the Knights of Columbus. He wrote a column on the Sunday readings for The Times Review and Catholic Times newspaper from 1985 – 2011.
Father Thomas Smith was preceded in death by his parents, his infant brother Joseph, and his sister Patricia. He is survived by his brother James M. Smith, of Edina, Minn.; nephew Michael Smith (Terri) of Woodbury, Minn.; and nieces Tamara Carisch (Mike) of Bozeman, Mont.; Jennifer Strand (Olaf) of St. Michael, Minn.; and several grandnephews and grandnieces.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Christ the King Chapel in Holy Cross Diocesan Center, 3710 East Ave., So., La Crosse, Wis., at 11:00 AM Monday, October 22, 2018. The Most Reverend Bishop William Patrick Callahan will be the main celebrant. Entombment will follow at Catholic Cemetery in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Visitation will be held at Christ the King Chapel on Monday, October 22, from 10:00 AM until the time of the funeral Mass.
Blaschke & Schneider Funeral Homes of La Crosse, Wis., are assisting the family with the arrangements.
Memorials may be made to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, or Aquinas Catholic Schools in La Crosse.