Father Richard R. Gendreau dies at age 73

FALL RIVER, Mass. — Father Richard R. Gendreau, 73, of Fall River, passed away on February 13 at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River.

He was born in Fall River, the son of the late Pete and Blanche (Proulx) Gendreau. Richard was a graduate of Msgr. Prevost High School class of 1959. In 1963, he earned his bachelor’s degree in French from Stonehill College. Richard entered St. John’s Seminary and earned another bachelor’s degree in Theology and a master’s degree in Divinity. He continued his education at Boston College and earned another master’s degree in Psychology.

Father Gendreau was ordained by Bishop Connolly in St. Mary’s Cathedral in 1969. He was a priest at the former St. Michael’s Church in Swansea from 1969-1986, St. Louis de France from 1973-1981, then served at UMass Dartmouth as a chaplain from 1981-1986. While at UMass Dartmouth he also was affiliated at St. James Church in New Bedford and St. George’s in Westport. From 1986 to 1993, Father Gendreau served as the pastor at St. Stephen’s in Attleboro and then at St. Joseph in North Dighton until 1994. He returned to St. Michael’s in Swansea until 2003, and then back to St. Louis de France until his retirement in 2012.

Father Gendreau served on the Interfaith and Priest Council for the diocese. He also served on the board for The United Way. Father Gendreau was active with the youth council in Swansea, the Senior Elder Council in Swansea, and Catholic Charities.

Survivors are a brother: Roger A. Gendreau and his wife Joyce of Swansea; two nephews: Brian Gendreau and his wife Melissa of Warren, R.I.; Patrick Gendreau and his wife Anne of Tiverton, R.I.; two great nieces: Victoria and Brianna; a great nephew: Corey; his cousins who shared the family home: Michael Gendreau of Florida; Ronald Gendreau of Connecticut; Mark Gendreau of Westport; Claude Gendreau of Tiverton, R.I.; along with many other cousins. He was the cousin of the late Dennis and Conrad Gendreau.

Calling hours will be held February 20 from 4-8 p.m. in St. Louis de France Church, 56 Buffington Street, Swansea, with a Prayer Vigil being held at 7 p.m. 

A Mass of Christian burial will be held February 21 at 10 a.m., celebrated by Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V., in St. Louis de France Church, 56 Buffington Street, Swansea. Relatives and friends are invited to attend, burial to follow in Notre Dame Cemetery, Fall River.

All arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Hathaway Community Home for Funerals, 900 Buffington Street, Somerset.

Memorial donations in Father Gendreau’s memory can be made to St. Louis de France Church, 56 Buffington Street, Swansea, Mass. 02777.

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