Paul Michael Visokay
January 8, 1937 – March 30, 2019
Paul M. Visokay, 82, died peacefully surrounded by family on March 30, 2019 in Cedar Park, Texas, after a brief illness. He was born in Trenton, N.J. to George J. Visokay, a WW II Veteran, and Anna Serben Visokay, a homemaker and factory worker. He, and his best friend, brother George, Jr., attended SS. Peter and Paul’s School and played together around the city and nearby Delaware River.
At the age of 13, he left home to begin his education and formation as a member of the Society of Mary (Marist Fathers.) He studied at the Marist College, Washington, D.C., and at the Angelicum, Rome, where he received a Licentiate in Sacred Theology and was ordained to the priesthood on March 9, 1963.
Back in the States, he taught theology to seminarians at Catholic University, Washington, D.C. from 1963-1973. It was the era following Vatican II and he was energized by the many controversial moral issues of the time. To broaden his scope, he did post graduate education in Protestant Theology at Union Theological Seminary, NYC. In 1973 he left the priesthood he loved, hoped to marry in the future, and was laicized by Pope Paul VI.
He began his career in the criminal justice system, working first for the State of New York Probation and Parole System. He later joined the Federal Probation system culminating in his retirement in 1995 as Deputy Chief Probation Officer for the District of Connecticut.
He lived many years in Norwalk, CT with his first wife Mary Anne Holdenecker, enjoying her large extended family and his role as ‘favorite uncle’ to many beloved nieces and nephews. He loved the landscape of New England, especially hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. In those years, he contributed to New Testament for Spiritual Reading, John L. McKenzie, ed., a 3-volume series published by Crossroads in 1981. Preparing for retirement, he acquired a MSSW degree from Southern Connecticut University.
In 1996, after retiring from Federal Probation, he relocated to Houston, Texas, where he met Stephanie Woodruff of Austin. They married in 2000 and lived in Houston enjoying the city’s vibrant arts and culture in the company of new friends. Not one to be retired, Paul worked 20 more years in the larger Houston area as a contract Investigator for the Federal Government, doing background checks with security agencies USIS, CSC, MSM. At the behest of Stephanie’s daughters, they relocated in December 2016 to Cedar Park, an Austin suburb.
Paul is survived by his wife Stephanie W. Visokay and her daughters whom he loved as his own: Lili Kriens, Claire Hall (Patrick) and Megan Wise (Jerry.) He was a playful grandfather to Noah Newman, Kate Newman, Alexandra Hall and Chloe Hall. He leaves, also, his beloved NJ family: brother George Visokay, Jr., sister-in-law Joan Visokay, nephew David Visokay and niece Kristin (Jack) Longmuir of Hamilton, NJ. His ashes will be interred in Trenton NJ at a later time.
Paul loved all of life – all people, all the arts, and especially the whole outdoors. A few days before he died, no longer ambulatory and unable to speak clearly, he was transported to the courtyard near his care facility room. It was a chilly March Sunday and the garden was dormant, but the sun was out and he was dressed warmly. As he came into the sunlight, an intoxicating breeze touched his face and he exclaimed “WOW!” This was the joyful, last word of a man who loved God’s beautiful world!
Gifts may be made to the Marist Fathers. Support@MaristSociety.org.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared for the Visokay family at www.cookwaldenchapelofthehills.com.
- Funeral Mass Thursday, April 11, 2019
Paul Michael Visokay
Phyllis and Kim Harvilla
April 2, 2019
We remember when you were first starting out in the priesthood. We have a picture of you in your mass attire with my son / brother holding the challis. We love and miss you.