The Very Rev. Demetrius Laptuta, longtime pastor of St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church, died Wednesday in the parish rectory after a long illness. He was under the care of Niagara Hospice. He was 89.
Born in Batavia, Father Laptuta entered St. Alphonsus Seminary in Aylmer, Quebec, after high school and was ordained in the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, Redemptorist Fathers, on May 26, 1945, in Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Philadelphia.
Before joining St. Mary's, he served as pastor of St. John the Baptist in Newark, N.J.; Holy Eucharistic in Toronto; and St. John the Baptist in the Town of Tonawanda.
He was pastor of St. Mary's for about 20 years.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Tuesday in St. Mary's Church, 2715 Ferry Ave.