Hugh A. King, OFM
1919 – 2004
Fr. Hugh A. King, OFM, was born on March 28, 1919, in Dorchester, Mass. His older brother, Fr. Ronald King, OFM, had already joined Holy Name Province, and Hugh followed in his footsteps by entering St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1932.
He was received into the Franciscan Order at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., in 1938 and professed first vows the following year. In 1942, Fr. Hugh professed his solemn vows at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C. He was ordained a priest at the church of Mt. St. Sepulchre Friary, Washington, in 1944.
Fr. Hugh’s first assignments after ordination were to St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City and St. Joseph Parish in Winsted, Conn., where he spent one year each.
From Winsted, Fr. Hugh went to Croghan, N.Y., where he served at St. Stephen’s from 1947 to 1953. He was also associated with the Father Leo Memorial High School and served as coach of the student athletic teams. In 1953, Fr. Hugh served as an assistant at St. Anne’s Parish in Fair Lawn, N.J., and became the Catholic Youth Organization moderator at Holy Cross Church in the Bronx the following year.
In 1956, for the next six years of his life, Fr. Hugh served as chaplain in the U.S. Army. He rose to the rank of captain and saw service in Germany and Alaska. He related well with the young servicemen and women; he was very conscious of serving God and country.
On his return to the United States, Fr. Hugh was assigned to Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y., where he taught English and served as prefect for two years. In 1964, he became a chaplain for the St. Lawrence State Psychiatric Hospital in Ogdensburg, N.Y. Fr. Hugh worked with the mentally ill and their caregivers until 1989. This was a ministry he was well fitted for — it brought him deep satisfaction and joy to show love and compassion to the mentally ill for 15 years.
In 1990, he retired to St. Anthony Residence in Boston, where he resided for four years. In 1994, he received permission to live at St. Bernadine of Siena Friary in Loudonville, N.Y. Fr. Ronald, had spent his entire Franciscan life at Siena College, where he was a member of the friar faculty.
Fr. Hugh and Fr. Ronald both had a genuine love for the sick, and both spent much time visiting the infirmed. Both brothers were known for their compassion, thoughtfulness and kindness to the sick. Fr. Ronald died in 1995, a heavy loss for Fr. Hugh at that time. He remained at Siena for two more years.
In January 1997, Fr. Hugh moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., living a quiet and serene life for seven years. He died there on March 11, 2004, just weeks shy of his 85th birthday. Fr. Hugh was a professed friar for 64 years and a priest for 59 years.