OBITUARY

John Gregory Plourde

November 16, 1953July 30, 2020

Let me tell you a little bit about our son, John. He was born November 16, 1953 at MacDill Air Force Base Hospital which at that time consisted of several old World War II wooden army barracks connected together with wooden ramps (not too impressive). It was a humble beginning.

By the time John was two-and-a-half years old, we were on our way to England on an ocean liner. We spent three years there and then returned to the U.S. where we were assigned to Loring Air Force Base in Maine. There John got to know my family, especially lots of cousins. We used to have family pot-luck picnics at our house and everyone, kids and adults alike, would play volleyball. By the age of seven, his Uncle Greg would let John drive the tractor in slow gear in the potato fields during rock picking season. He just loved this! And it made Greg his favorite forever. John has always kept in touch with him.

We left Maine in 1963 for Homestead AFB in Florida where John went to school for four years at Sacred Heart Academy. John would go visit the Sisters on weekends and mop and wax their floors or do other chores for them. No one asked him to. He just knew they needed help, and he did it. John was always eager to help. Then we moved back to Tampa to be close to family while I was in Vietnam. John was the oldest so he took on the role of “father figure” for his eight younger siblings while I was away. We returned to Homestead AFB where we stayed until his last year of high school. John finished his senior year at Jefferson High in Tampa. He had participated in Civil Air Patrol in Homestead, and after graduation he decided to join the Air Force.

After basic training, John was assigned to Vietnam and Laos. He was in munitions so his job was loading bombs. He came home after serving four years in the Air Force and started college courses at Hillsborough Community College. Then John told us he had decided to become a priest. He completed his four year degree at Pontifical College Josephinum in Ohio and then went on to the major seminary, St. Vincent de Paul, in Boynton Beach, FL. John was ordained a priest in May of 1984.

John was assigned to Nativity parish in Brandon as an Assistant Pastor and then to St. Rita’s parish in Dade City as Pastor. He was commissioned into the Air Force in 1994, attained the rank of Captain, and served as a Chaplain in Okinawa and Bosnia. He often talked about the people he served there as “family” and spoke of how they welcomed him into their hearts and homes. He left the Air Force in 1998 and was assigned Pastor of St. Anthony’s in Brooksville, FL. John was a priest for eighteen years.

John later left the priesthood and was married to Mary Green for a few years. Together they had two sons, James John and Gregory Thomas. Oftentimes, John would bring them over for dinner so we could get to know and love his children like he did.

John loved animals! As a child he would bring cats into the house, even though Henri was allergic to them, and he would walk around with a cat around his neck. Throughout his life he had birds, cats, and dogs that he loved dearly. John also loved music. He loved to play the guitar and sing. He taught Mary Sue and Rosie how to play and would often hold sing-a-longs with family and friends.

John was always a giving person. Anxious to help where he could. He went out of his way to bring people together who could learn from each other and help one another. We love you, John! God’s speed on your way to heaven!

Love Dad & Mom

John Gregory Plourde passed away on Thursday, July 30, 2020 at the age of 66. John is survived by his parents, Alfred (Pete) Plourde and Henri Pollman Plourde, eight siblings, Steve (and Barbara) Plourde, Peter Plourde, Bruce (and Jeannine) Plourde, Joy (and Bill) Stephen, Chad (and Jackie) Plourde, Angie (and Layne) Williams, Mary Sue (and Robert) Kosky, Rosie (and Alphi) Alfonso, and John’s two sons, JJ and Greg. A funeral and celebration of life will be held at St. Francis Catholic Church (date and time to be determined). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Charities.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

John Gregory Plourde

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Carroll and Diane Lufkin

August 3, 2020

We can remember meeting John up in the county at family gatherings. When leaving one time, there were hugs all around. Then Uncle Greg told me not to kiss a priest on the cheek. Ha. We are so sorry for your loss of John. May he always rest in peace in heaven. Prayers for all of his family.

Amy (Plourde) Sanchez

August 2, 2020

Many times, as I have ever tried to list my family, I always start at the top... John, Dad... and so on. Lots of times I would pray for him, write a thank you card, or share about him, first. I admired his example, both because it demystified the call to Holy Orders, and because I had a constant reminder of our real God and what real life looks like for faithful followers. In and out of the priesthood, I knew him to be real, loving, and faithful. When my mom brought me to help with a move, I loved seeing the beautiful things he would share stories about, and one time he gave me a ziplock bag full of change and I felt so special to be given such a great gift. I am grateful for the privilege of attending his wedding and meeting his boys. I am sad to miss him. I believe he is resting in all of the peace and goodness of God.

Sending all of my love and prayers to everyone,
Amy

Terri Quintas

August 2, 2020

I got to know John when he returned from the Air Force. My sister, Sherri, and I were good friends with Peter and Bruce, so getting to know John was easy. He was so easy to talk to. I was not surprised when he entered the priesthood. When he was assigned to Nativity, my husband, Jose, and I were thrilled. He baptized our sons, Joe and Dan. We lost touch over the years, but saw him at St. Francis from time to time. My prayers are with John and the entire family. Rest In Peace.

Terri (Powell) Quintas

Mary Beeman-Griffith

August 2, 2020

So sad to hear about John’s passing. I remember how he would always call me “Blondie” when I came to visit Rosie. He’d always take time to ask me questions to show a personal interest in how I was doing! “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Hugs and God’s peace to all.

Danielle Stephen

August 2, 2020

John, yours is such a powerful loss felt by so many of your family and friends. As people share memories and remember you with fond affection, I am saddened at my not having some memories with you of my own. You are a man who appeared to have the makings of great humanity and possessed such deep devotion that I am encouraged to hear more stories of your incredible life. God bless, God speed, and I hope to be able to meet you again on some other plain.

Jenn Austin

August 2, 2020

Uncle John,

You and your quirky fun are going to be missed. You gave life your all, always finding new things to delve into and giving whatever you were into your 100%. When you gave homilies you brought in ALL the props to help make your point and people connect. You would sing prayers at mass that weren't even supposed to be songs. Do you remember that time you sat at Mumsie and Grandpa's dining room table and sung the news paper out loud to everyone? haha I remember going to your house and you showed us your collections of all the things. You might have had 100 sets of chalices and ciboriums, or stoles, but you needed all of them because they each had their own special occasion you would wear/use them for and you had a special story that went along with each one telling where you got them from or the people who gave them to you. You taught me that the things aren't important, but it's the stories and the people that go with them that matter and that's what you should value in your heart. When you got your motorcycle you had the most obnoxious yellow protective gear because you went all in. You taught me how to chew on a toothpick and how to care for animals with all my heart (dogs, birds, cats, you know). You were 100% comfortable being you. You had inside jokes with yourself (like all the nicknames you gave everyone) and your own ways to make fun even when a situation was boring, and you taught me to bring the fun no matter where I go, that you just have to be creative in your own head. (I don't think I realized until now that I do that same thing... and you might actually be who I get it from.) You know, I don't think I ever saw you stressed out or frustrated. You were always happy with things just the way they were and excited about your newest interest. I'm going to miss having you in this world, but thanks or showing me how to live curiously and freely! I know we'll see each other again one day!

Your niece,
Jenn

Tim Forsman

August 2, 2020

I have no words that can fully ease the pain you’re feeling now after the loss of John. I know John but only as a distant cousin seen very seldom. But your words describing John helps me understand why you will feel such an deep emptiness in your lives now that he is gone. I am so sorry for everyone’s loss and sorry that I never had an opportunity to know him better.

Tom Pepe

August 2, 2020

My wife and I knew John when his family and ours attended incarnation parish in town and country, Tampa. He helped my wife when she ran the youth group at incarnation
I wrote a letter supporting his desire to enter the priesthood and was happy that he made it. My wife, Jeanette, and I are so sad to learn of his passing and will keep his family in our prayers.

Doug (and Aggie) Hatch

August 2, 2020

John was a dear friend of ours. It saddens us that he has passed, but we know he is with God. In April of 1988 John married us at Nativity in Brandon. I (Doug) was not Catholic when we started dating. As John got to know me and interacted with us, he pulled us aside one Sunday and told me that if we were going to get married I would need to decide about becoming Catholic or not. I was like, wow, what a minute Father, I haven't even proposed. But of course, he was right. We needed to go all in. I began RCIA classes and when we set a date, Father helped enroll us in the appropriate marriage class. Our friendship grew to the point that John went on vacation with us a few months after he married us. John also baptized our two oldest children. We loved him very much and will be praying for his soul.

Elizabeth Cervi

August 2, 2020

To the Plourde family,
The Cervi family have fond memories of joyful times we spent with John during his stay at Nativity.
We are so sorry, keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
John & Betti Cervi

FROM THE FAMILY