Neil Robert Paquette ’59 was born on May 8, 1937, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to Cornelius W. Paquette and Geneveive T. Larkin. Neil did undergraduate work at SCU and UC Berkeley and served in the U.S. Army before undertaking graduate studies in urban and regional planning at the University of Iowa. Neil entered New Melleray Abbey in 1975. He earned a master’s degree in spirituality from the Catholic University of America that served him well when he was appointed vocation director and novice director. Ordained a priest by Archbishop Daniel Kucera, OSB, on July 11, 1994, he served as a priest for nearly 23 years. Fr. Neil also served as the monastery treasurer for many years. During the last five years of his life, he responded to the consequences of some significant health setbacks with notable patience, good cheer, humility, and spiritual wisdom. He was a monk to his depths, devoted to the Greek New Testament and to the Rule of Saint Benedict, especially Chapter seven, which discusses the degrees of humility. Fr. Neil died on July 6, 2017, at New Melleray Abbey in Peosta, Iowa. Surviving are his monastic brothers of New Melleray Abbey; his devoted sister, Pat Funston and brother-in-law Neil Funston; nieces Tracy (Funston) Swanson and Kerry Funston; nephews Mike, Kevin, Scott, and Tim Funston; and a dozen great- nieces and nephews. The abbot and monks of New Melleray express their gratitude to the staff at Mercy Medical Center and at Stonehill, Dubuque, and to the personnel of Hospice of Dubuque and of Roots of Dubuque home care agency for their exemplary care of Fr. Neil.

08 Nov 2018