The Rev. Francis Storms, OFM, a fixture at St. Bonaventure University for more than three decades, died Thursday in Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 63.
Father Francis was assistant to the president at St. Bonaventure University for the past 13 years, and served in that capacity until going to the friary March 4 to spend his final weeks.
"Father Frank gave the last full measure of devotion to the university that he loved and served for almost 35 years," said Sister Margaret Carney, university president. "Even though cancer stalked him through the last five years, he resisted plans to reduce his workload and kept his colleagues spiritually fortified with his wisdom and wry Irish wit.
"He was the master's faithful servant to the end and St. Bonaventure will forever be indebted to him," she said said.
Born in Paterson, N.J., Father Francis was received into the Order of Friars Minor in 1963 and was ordained in 1975. He earned his master's degree in theology from St. Bonaventure in 1973 and joined the university's theology faculty in 1975, when he also was named assistant director of the graduate theology program.
During his 31-year career at St. Bonaventure, Father Francis served the university in a number of roles.
He was appointed assistant registrar in 1977, then named registrar in 1978. He was guardian of the St. Bonaventure Friary from 1979 to 1983, served as executive vice president under the Rev. Mathias Doyle, OFM, from 1983 to 1987, and represented the university as president in 1985, when Father Mathias took a sabbatical.
Father Francis took a year's leave in 1987 to serve as pastor of a church in Rochelle Park, N.J., before returning to St. Bonaventure in 1988 as associate dean for enrollment management. He was appointed acting director of records in 1991 before Sister Alice Gallin named him assistant to the president in 1993 during her tenure as interim president.
Survivors include a brother, Gerald of Nutley, N.J.
An Office of the Dead and viewing will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday in St. Bonaventure University Chapel, Doyle Hall, followed at 10 by a Eucharistic Liturgy. Burial will be in St. Bonaventure Cemetery.