TOTOWA, N.J. — Raymond Beach, OFM, 91, died Sept. 14 at St. Joseph’s Home here, where he had served for many years as chaplain and been residing since mid-August following a stroke. He was a professed Franciscan friar for 69 years and a priest for 64.
Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti, OFM, will celebrate the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 17 at St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J. Leon Ristuccia, OFM, a classmate of Raymond, will preach the homily.
Raymond was born June 8, 1918, in West New York, N.J., to Theodore and Helen Beach. He was baptized Theodore William on June 23 at St. Joseph of the Palisades Church in West New York. He attended the parish school and St. Peter’s Prep in Jersey City, N.J., before entering St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., in 1937.
He was received into the novitiate of the Order of Friars Minor in Holy Name Province on Aug. 12, 1939, at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., receiving the religious name Raymond Paul. He professed first vows there Aug. 13, 1940, before Jerome Dawson, OFM.
Raymond completed his philosophical studies at St. Stephen Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., then proceeded to Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., for his theological studies.
On Sept. 17, 1943, he professed his solemn vows at Holy Name College before Bertrand Campbell, OFM. Raymond was ordained a priest June 17, 1945, by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Amleto Cicognani, apostolic delegate to the United States, at the Church of Mt. St. Sepulchre in Washington.
Following a brief assignment at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City, Raymond devoted his priestly ministry to the people of northern New Jersey in parishes and as a chaplain.
In 1947, he began three years as parochial vicar at St. Joseph Church in East Rutherford, N.J. He then became parochial vicar at Holy Name Church in Garfield, N.J., and later pastor there in 1955. In 1961, Raymond moved to St. Francis Parish in Wanaque, N.J., to serve as parochial vicar, becoming pastor there in 1964. He was assigned to Our Lady of the Assumption Church, Wood-Ridge, N.J., as parochial vicar in 1970 and served there for six years before serving at Sacred Heart Church in Rochelle Park, N.J., in the same capacity. Raymond remained at Sacred Heart until 1981.
In 1981, he began his chaplaincy work, first in Warwick, N.Y., at Mount Alverno Health Care Center, then, in 1983, Raymond began ministering for the sisters’ community at Mount St. Francis in Ringwood, N.J., where he served for four years. From 1987 to 1989, he assisted in the administration of St. Anthony Friary in Butler. Finally, in 1989, he began a 16-year stint serving the Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly in Totowa.
In April 2005, Raymond retired to St. Anthony Friary in Butler.
A wake and wake service are being held Sept. 16 at St. Anthony Church in Butler. Following the Mass of Christian Burial on Sept. 17, Raymond will be interred at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Butler.
Raymond is survived by nieces Jeanne Harpster of Ridgewood, N.J., Nancy Quattrini of Sharon, Conn., Mary Alaine Quattrini of Montvale, N.J., Joanne Sacino of Augusta, Ga., and nephews Raymond Quattrini of Goshen, N.Y., and Richard Quattrini of Tenafly, N.J. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Jeanne Harpster, 980 East Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood NJ 07450 or Mr. Richard Quattrini, 122 Magnolia Ave., Tenafly NJ 07670.