July 20, 1920 - Feb. 8, 2018
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered on Feb. 13 for Monsignor Paul R. Juenker, a Catholic priest who was ordained in 1945 and was the oldest priest in the Diocese of Buffalo at the time of his death.
The 97-year-old priest died in Brothers of Mercy Nursing Home, Clarence, after a short illness.
A native of East Aurora, he graduated from St. Joseph Intercollegiate Institute, Canisius College and St. Bernard Seminary in Rochester. He was ordained at St. Joseph Cathedral on Sept. 22, 1945 – 20 days after the end of World War II. He celebrated his first Mass the next day at the old Our Lady of Lourdes Church on Main Street in Buffalo.
Over the next 50 years of active service, he served at five other parishes in Buffalo and Cassadaga. He retired in 1995 after 21 years as pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church on Delaware Avenue. He also served on the faculty of the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary from 1949 to 1969. He continued to officiate at weddings and other services for at least 10 years after his retirement. He spent his final years at the O'Hara Residence in the Town of Tonawanda.
Bishop Richard J. Malone celebrated a Mass of Christian Burial for the monsignor at Blessed Sacrament Church.