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Joseph Philip McGonagle
(Died May 27, 2012)

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Joseph Philip McGonagle

U.S. Veteran


Deacon Joseph Philip McGonagle, age 77, a resident of Alabama for 38 years, passed away on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012, at his home surrounded by his family.  He was not only a devoted husband, father, and grandfather but a dedicated teacher, counselor, and servant of the Lord.

Joseph was born on August 20, 1934, in Medford, MA.  He joined the US Air Force and served two tours of duty.  He later received his undergraduate degree from St. Leo College in Florida and Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling from Florida State University.

Joseph served in many capacities throughout the years, but first and foremost, he was a teacher. Teaching elementary, high school, and college levels, and serving as director of religious education, his dynamic presence and love of learning made him an exceptional educator.  He taught at St. Paul’s School and Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida and McGill-Toolen High School in Mobile.  Joseph’s educational background and interest in academically challenged populations led him to open the Shalimar Schools and later, Motivation Learning Centers.  Until his passing, he continued to receive letters and phone calls from former students whose lives were positively impacted by this man who challenged them, believed in them and helped lead them to success.

Joseph was ordained a permanent deacon on November 4, 1984 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.  During his 27 years as a Deacon, he faithfully served the following parishes:  St. Lawrence, Fairhope; St. Ignatius, Mobile; St. Rose of Lima, Mon Luis Island; Holy Name of Jesus, Mobile; St. Joan of Arc, Mobile; Shrine of the Holy Cross/St. Johns Mission, Daphne where he also served as administrator.  He was a member of the faculty for the Toolen-Institute for Parish Services (TIPS) and served as director of the Seton Center for some 15 years.  In addition, he was chaplain at McGill-Toolen, Associate Director of the Diaconate Program and Chaplain at Mercy Medical.

He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Margaret McGonagle, and his brothers, Patrick, James and William.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 50 years, Theresa Tasso McGonagle, and his daughters, Theresa (Curt) Crider, Margaret McGonagle Evans, Christine (Jeff) Walding, Cynthia (Drew) McGarity, and Elizabeth McGonagle; three sisters, Grace Dalton, Mary Rose Crowley, and Margaret Dolan and two sisters-in-law, Hazel McGonagle and Shirley McGonagle; sixteen grandchildren:  Andrew, Amanda, Carlye, Carolyne, Sarah, Audrey, Colleen, Christopher, Braden, Jack, Stephen, Sam, Thomas, Katie, Maggie and Patrick.  In addition, he is survived by sister-in-law, Lucille Cortese, and brothers-in-law, Emanuel (Edda) Tasso and Angelo (Michelle) Giardino, and numerous loving nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, May 31 at 1:00PM at Christ the King Catholic Church, 1505 Main St., Daphne, AL.  The evening prior, Wednesday, May 30, visitation will be held from 5-8 PM at Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Home, 27409 U.S. 98, Daphne, AL.

Internment will immediately follow funeral services at Jubilee Memorial Gardens, 27896 State Hwy 181, Daphne, AL.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Deacon Joseph P. McGonagle Theological Studies Scholarship at Spring Hill College.  To contribute, please visit www.shc.edu/giving or mail to Spring Hill College (memo: McGonagle Scholarship), 4000 Dauphin Street, Mobile, AL 36608

27409 U. S. HWY. 98
DAPHNE, AL 36526

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