Father Frank J. Damis, who served for 33 years at St. Joseph parish in Kingston, died March 28 at St. Joseph Medical Center in Yonkers. He was 82.
At St. Joseph, Father Damis was administrator, 2013-2017; pastor, 1994-2013; and parochial vicar, 1984-1994. He had resided at the Edward Cardinal Egan Pavilion in the Bronx since 2017.
Cardinal Dolan presided at the burial April 1 in St. Mary of the Snow Cemetery, Saugerties.
Father John Kearney attended St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, with Father Damis and was ordained a year before Father Damis in 1983. The two resided in Kingston and commuted together as seminarians before serving parishes in the Kingston area.
“He was a wonderful guy, devoted to his parish and liked by people,” Father Kearney, who served three parishes in the Kingston area for 24 years before retiring in 2015, told CNY.
“He was a nice, kind person to so many people. St. Joseph was his whole life.”
Father Kearney, who was pastor of St. Catherine Laboure in Lake Katrine for 18 years, added Father Damis had a good sense of humor, “was excellent with the elderly,” and built strong relationships with his parishioners.
“Being from the area, he knew so many people and so many people knew him,” Father Kearney said. “They do bond with you, and you become a part of their lives.”
Born in Kingston, Father Damis attended SUNY Buffalo for two years with plans to become a dentist. He transferred to Albany College of Pharmacy, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.
He was a licensed pharmacist before entering St. Joseph’s Seminary in 1980. He was ordained in 1984 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral by Cardinal John O’Connor.
A Memorial Mass will be offered at a later date.