May 5, 2014

OBITUARY: Father James E. Diemand




GILL – Father James E. Diemand, 70, of Gill, died on April 29 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield.

Born Sept. 30, 1943, in Northampton, he was the son of the late Francis and Marie (Murphy) Diemand Sr. Father Diemand had attended grammar school at the former Annunciation School in Florence, and graduated from the former St. Michael’s High School in Northampton. He then attended Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn., where he studied philosophy and received his degree in 1964. He then attended St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore from 1964-1968.

He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Springfield on May 9, 1968 by Bishop Christopher J. Weldon.

He served as a pro-tem pastor for three months at the former Holy Family Parish in Springfield, then served for three years as an associate pastor at the former St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, in Turners Falls. He was also an associate pastor for eight years at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Palmer. He was chaplain for three years at Farren Memorial Hospital in Turners Falls. He was then appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish in Orange and served there for 14 years.

He served as a chaplain for 13 years for the Massachusetts Army National Guard. On July 1, 1998, he had retired as a priest of the diocese and since retirement he has helped cover parishes on some weekends for pastors who were away. Most currently he was the V.A. chaplain in Brockton and West Roxbury, Mass., since April 12, 2010.

In his free time he enjoyed pioneering, agriculture, timber farming, landscaping, carpentry, masonry, gardening, and gourmet cuisine.

Father Diemand is survived by his brothers Paul and his wife, Cynthia, of Southampton; Richard and his wife, Anita; Michael and his wife, Debra, all of Florence; and Francis Jr. and his wife, Bonnie, of Middletown, Conn.; several nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and nephews; and his friend, Jack Jackson, of Vermont.

Besides his parents he was predeceased by his brothers Robert and Timothy.

A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, May 7 at 10 a.m. at Annunciation Chapel of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, 85 Beacon St., Florence. Burial will follow in St. Mary Cemetery, Northampton. There are no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made c/o Annunciation Chapel of St Elizabeth Parish, 3 Elm St., Northampton, MA 01060; or to Jericho House, 537 Northampton St., P.O. Box 1039 Holyoke, MA 01041.