Francis X. Tokar, OFM
1917 – 1999
Br. Francis Tokar, OFM, was born on Dec. 21, 1917, in Ptruska in the Diocese of Kosice, a Hungarian territory that became part of the new Czechoslovakian Republic in 1918. Br. Francis was initially affiliated to the Franciscans in 1938 as a tertiary brother at St. Francis Church in New York City, following in the footsteps of his older sibling, Br. Methodius Tokar, OFM, who had made temporary vows in 1936.
Received into the Province’s novitiate on Sept. 4, 1940, at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., Br. Francis professed temporary vows there Sept. 6, 1941, and made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1944.
Br. Francis was a clean-cut, carefully groomed friar endowed with many practical skills exercised in various friaries of Holy Name Province. He spent an early eight years as porter and general housekeeper at St. Stephen’s Friary in New York until becoming a sandal-maker for 20 years in Paterson, Croghan, N.Y., and Rye Beach, N.J.
At St. Francis of Assisi Friary in New York, he worked on the switchboard, the front desk and the Breadline for 13 years, and spent 14 more as curator at Point Lookout and assistant curator at Margate. In all assignments, he was known to be neat, dependable and closely attentive to detail.
An articulate friar of inquiring mind, Br. Francis enjoyed verbal wordplay with all comers and took harmless delight in trumping verbal aces at learned sparring partners. He died June 9, 1999, at St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg, Fla. He was 81 years old and a professed Franciscan for 57 years.