Father Stanley M. Gerlock died March 20, 2022, at the age of 87, five days before his birthday.
Father Gerlock was ordained on April 2, 1960. He served at churches in Binghamton, Utica, Johnson City, New Hartford, Endicott, Bainbridge/Afton, Kirkwood and Chenango Forks.
The funeral Mass for Father Garlock was set for 11 a.m. March 24 at St. Mary’s Church, 975 US-11, Kirkwood, Broome County.
During an interview with the Sun for his 60th jubilee in 2020, he recalled that during his service as chaplain of the Broome County Jail, prisoners had to walk by the chapel as they were discharged.
“So this kid … knocked on the window of the chapel. So I came out and he said, ‘I’m leaving.’ He said, ‘I want you to know that Mass was the highlight of my week.’
“And I said, ‘Oh, gee, that’s wonderful.’ I said, ‘I appreciate your telling me that.’ He says, ‘Yeah, well, not only that.’ He says, ‘When I’m out in the public, I’ll have a lot of temptation, so before I leave I’d like your blessing.’ And I said, ‘Oh, boy.’
Another chaplain heard the kid’s comment and said “‘Wow!’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ I said ‘Wow’ too.”
Other chaplaincies for Father Gerlock included Notre Dame High School in Utica, Camp Brace in Masonville and the Newman Club at Utica College.
Father Gerlock lived with the Xavierian Brothers during his fulltime chaplaincy at Notre Dame. For his 25th anniversary, while he was pastor at St. Mary’s in Kirkwood, Father Gerlock received a plaque naming him an Honorary Xavierian Brother.
He recalled taking a test about retirement—about eight sheets with all kinds of questions. He said the expert came up to him and said, “‘You know, you did quite well.’ He says, ‘Only thing I’m concerned about, is what you’re gonna do when you retire.’
“He says, ‘You don’t have any hobbies, you don’t play golf.’ I said, ‘Well, you know, I think that’ll take care of itself.’”
He retired in July 2004, and he walked the corridor 10 times a day at McDevitt Residence in Binghamton. “As a result of that I lost about 30 pounds,” he said.
He retained the attitude he had on his ordination day. Bishop Walter A. Foery “asked if I’d be obedient to the Lord and to him and to everybody around. And I said, ‘Joyfully!’”