Father Robert W. Greatorex, 89
Father Greatorex was born on April 27, 1925, in Boston, Massachusetts, to Robert and Mary Greatorex. He attended Saint Joseph Elementary School and the High School of Commerce, Saint Philip Neri School and Suffolk Law University, all in Boston, Massachusetts, Holy Cross College in North Eaton, Massachusetts, and Saint John Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was ordained on May 18, 1957, at Christ the King Chapel in Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse by the Most Reverend John P. Treacy, Bishop of La Crosse.
Before deciding to become a priest Father Greatorex was drafted into the U.S. Army two days after graduating from high school. He served during World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater (1943-1946). It was at this time that Father Greatorex said his previous thoughts of becoming a priest came to the forefront. “I thought, the Lord got me through this war, and I wanted to tell him ‘thank you’, and he said, ‘Shut up and do your work.”’
Father Greatorex’s first assignment following ordination was as Assistant Pastor at Holy Trinity Parish in La Crosse on June 4, 1957. On November 18, 1957 he was also assigned as a part-time instructor at Aquinas High School in La Crosse. He was then assigned as a full time instructor at Regis High School in Eau Claire with residence at the Sacred Heart Parish rectory on June 4, 1958. In 1964 he was assigned as a full time instructor at Pacelli High School in Stevens Point, with residence at Saint Stanislaus Parish.
On August 25, 1965, Father Greatorex was appointed Administrator of Saint Adalbert Parish in McMillan and as Instructor at Columbus High School in Marshfield. In 1970 he was relieved of his responsibilities as Administrator of Saint Adalbert Parish when it closed on September 15, 1970. He was then appointed as Assistant Pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Marshfield. On August 4, 1971 he was appointed Assistant Chaplain at Saint Joseph Hospital in Marshfield. He also continued to serve as an Instructor at Columbus High School. Father Greatorex was next appointed as Associate Pastor of Saint James the Greater Parish in Eau Claire on September 16, 1974. In 1978 he was appointed Pastor of Holy Guardian Angels Parish in Almond and Administrator of Saint John Parish in Heffron.
On August 24, 1979, Father Greatorex was appointed Chaplain to Saint. Joseph Convent and Provincial House, Chaplain Assistant at Saint Michael’s Hospital, both in Stevens Point. He also provided pastoral care at River Pines Health Care Center and Portage County Nursing Home. On July 1, 1987, he was appointed as full time Chaplain to Saint Michael Hospital, while retaining his appointment as Chaplain to Saint Joseph Convent. He was relieved of his pastoral care responsibilities at River Pines Health Care Center and Portage County Nursing Home. Father Greatorex received the status of senior priest on December 1, 1999.
He is survived by two sisters: Mary Walsh and Alice Sullivan both of Boston, MA and his very special friend Rita Lepak-Kirschling of Stevens Point, WI.
He was preceded in death by his parents one brother James and one sister Dorothy Sso.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Convent Chapel in Stevens Point on Friday, January 16, 2015 at 11:30 AM. The Most Reverend William P. Callahan will be the main celebrant. The Reverend Donald L. Przybylski will be the homilist.
Visitation will be held on Friday, January 16, from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the Mass at St. Joseph Convent. Burial with full military honors provided by the Polish Legion of American Veterans Pope John Paul the II Post 185 Polonia, WI will take place in the St. Joseph Convent cemetery. A memorial in his name will be established at a later date.
The Diocese of La Crosse and the family are being assisted by the Pisarski Funeral Home in Stevens Point. For on line condolences please visit www.pisarskifuneralhome.com