Deacon John Theodore Cretaro died Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Mobile, Ala. Born August 2, 1941 in Canastota, N.Y. to Theodore and Rose (Cordileone) Cretaro, he is survived by his wife, Jo Anne Cretaro of Mobile; siblings Patricia (Charles) Branagh of Clay, N.Y., Mary Cretaro of Canastota, and Michael Cretaro of Canastota; cousins, nieces and nephews.

A graduate of Canastota schools, he served in the U.S. Air Force, graduated from the St. Phillip Neri Latin-Greek Seminary, Haverhill, Mass., and was affiliated with the Capuchin Friars of York. He was a lay missionary for three years in Zaire, Africa, and later, with his wife, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Congo-Zaire, Africa. He received a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts and a master’s degree in Psychological Counseling in Human Services from the State University of New York, Oswego.

In 1980, he was ordained a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Syracuse and served in the city of Oswego. In 2003, after 26 years serving the poorest of Oswego County, he retired to Mobile to continue as a permanent deacon in the service of the Archdiocese of Mobile, assigned to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and resident chaplain at the Cathedral Place Apartments. He was a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus.

A funeral Mass was celebrated at the chapel of the Little Sisters of the Poor Sacred Heart Residence in Mobile on March 21. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Mobile Archdiocese or the Little Sisters of the Poor.

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