December 7, 2023
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore at 11 a.m. on Friday, December 15, at Church of the Holy Family in Watertown. Bishop Terry R. LaValley, bishop of the Diocese of Ogdensburg, will be principal celebrant, and Father John M. “Mickey” Demo will be the homilist. Father Arthur LaBaff, V.F., will preside over the reception of the body at 3 p.m. on December 14 at Church of the Holy Family. Calling hours will follow from 3 to 6 p.m. Vespers, evening prayer, will be prayed at 6 p.m. Calling hours will continue on December 15 from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery following the funeral Mass.
Msgr. Whitmore died Thursday, December 7, 2023, at Samaritan Hospital in Watertown, where he had been a patient for a brief time. He was 95.
Born April 7, 1929, in Watertown, he was the son of Eugene and Mabel (Bundy) Whitmore.
After graduating from St. Patrick’s School, Immaculate Heart Academy and Sisters Conservatory of Music, he entered Wadhams Hall Seminary-College in 1946, completing his theological studies at St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester.
On May 22, 1954, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Walter P. Kellenberg at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Ogdensburg. Msgr. Whitmore began his priesthood serving as parochial vicar at St. Mary's Church in Massena, a role he also held at St. Mary's Church in Ticonderoga. From 1957 to 1975, he was assigned to teach at Wadhams Hall Seminary-College. During that time, he also earned a master’s degree from the University of Michigan and a doctorate from Fordham University. He served for a brief time as administrator and later pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Essex and Church of St. Philip and Jesus in Willsboro before returning to Wadhams Hall in 1977.
Msgr. Whitmore also served as Chairman of the Music Commission of the Worship Department from 1976 to 1979. In 1990, he became Pastor at Saint Vincent of Paul’s Church in Cape Vincent, a role he later held at St. Patrick’s Church in Chateaugay, St. Agnes Church in Lake Placid, St. Martin’s Church in Port Leyden and St. John’s Church in Lyons Falls. He also served as dean of the Adirondack Deanery from 1990 to 1995.
Pope John Paul II bestowed the title of Prelate of Honor to His Holiness upon Msgr. Whitmore on June 17, 1995. Msgr. Whitmore retired from active ministry in 2007. In retirement, he continued to serve as chaplain for the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood in Watertown and as a columnist for the North Country Catholic.
In April of 2023, he moved to the Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse, where he continued to celebrate Mass. He enjoyed his time with the sisters there.
In addition to his parents, Msgr. Whitmore was predeceased by a brother, Bob. Msgr. Whitmore is survived by a niece, Kathy, and her husband, Doug; nephews Jimmy, Mike and John; and many great-nieces and nephews and many great-great nieces and nephews. Msgr. Whitmore was loved by all who had the pleasure of knowing him, including his family and friends, especially his dear friend, Joe Demo.
Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Watertown. Online condolences may be shared at www.cummingsfuneral.com.