The Rev. John F. Ducaji, 89, Mountain Top, died Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, surrounded by his loving family, in Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Twp.
The Rev. John was born Nov. 2, 1928, in Ashley, to Stefan and Elizabet Rigas Ducaji, and was baptized in Holy Rosary Church, Ashley.
He attended St. Leo Elementary School, Ashley Public High School and St. Procopius College in Lisle, Ill. (now Benedictine University).
Having completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Procopius Seminary in Lisle, John Ducaji was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1954, in the Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet by Bishop Martin D. McNamara, and was assigned to St. Joseph Parish in Joliet, Ill. His next assignment was at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Joliet (1957). In 1964, he was named pastor of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Parish. He then became pastor of St. John Parish in Villa Park, Ill. (1970). In 1987, the Rev. John was appointed pastor of St. Mark Parish in Wheaton, Ill. Although officially retired on Dec. 1, 2003, the Rev. John continued as pastor at St. Mark Parish until Oct. 7, 2014.
In addition to his parish assignments, the Rev. John held other responsibilities. He served as notary at the Marriage Tribunal (1959); defender of the bond (1960-1965); moderator of the Junior Catholic Woman’s Club of Joliet (1962); consultor (1969); tribunal delegate judge (1969); consultor (1980); appointed as pro-Synodal judge (1983). His final appointment as consultor extended from 1984 to 1990. Additionally, he spent his sabbatical at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, where he met Pope John Paul II.
After leaving Wheaton in 2014, the Rev. John returned to live in Mountain Top to be with his family. Not only did he love ministering to all of God’s faithful, he truly loved being with his family and friends. He was a loving son, brother, uncle and friend. He enjoyed traveling the world, music and most of all being with his family.
Besides his parents, the Rev. John was preceded in death by three brothers, Joseph, Francis and Stefan. He is survived by his sister, Margaret Ducaji, Mountain Top; brother, Joseph and wife, Jule Anne (Burick) Ducaji, Mountain Top; six nieces and nephews, Joseph and wife, Lisa Ducaji, Illinois; Carolyn (Ducaji) and husband, Darran Zimmermann, Mountain Top; Juleann (Ducaji) and husband, David Wickiser, Mountain Top; Marion (Ducaji) and husband, Frank Babula, Mountain Top; John Ducaji, Harveys Lake; and Elizabeth Ducaji, Mountain Top; and 16 grandnieces and grandnephews, Mary, Emily, Rachel, Joseph and Sarah Ducaji, Kaitlyn, Darran, Jessica and Alexa Zimmermann, David, Brianna and Michael Wickiser, Sean Ducaji-Reap and Allyson, Matthew and Sarah Babula.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Procopius Abbey, 5601 College Road, Lisle, IL 60532. A Mass of Transferal was held in St. Jude Church, Mountain Top. Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, vicar general of the Diocese of Scranton, officiated.
The Rev. Ducaji also had the honor of his Mass of Christian Burial held in his home parish of St. Mark, Wheaton, Ill. His interment followed this week in Calvary Cemetery, Drums.
Arrangements are by George A. Strish Inc. Funeral Home, 105 N. Main St., Ashley.