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The Passing of Father Joseph Reitz
Reverend Joseph Anthony Reitz
December 25, 1927 – January 5, 2020
Reverend Joseph Anthony Reitz entered eternal life on January 5, 2020 at the age of 92. Reverend Reitz, the fourth child of Anthony and Edith Daller Reitz was born on Sunday, December 25, 1927. Father Reitz prepared for the priesthood with six years at St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids, two years at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and four years at St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. He was ordained by the Most Reverend Joseph Rancans on June 6, 1953 at St. Andrew Cathedral in Grand Rapids.
Father Reitz served in many parishes including twice at St. Mary in Muskegon. Other parishes in which he served included St. Rose of Lima in Hastings, St. Francis in Muskegon. He served as Pastor at St. Bernard in Irons, Mission Church of St. Ignatius in Luther, Our Lady of the Lake in Prudenville, and St. Stephen and St. Theresa in Lake City and Manton, respectively. In addition, from 1958 to 1961, he served as a professor and athletic director at Muskegon Catholic Central and was one of the original founders and board members of Manistee Catholic Central. In 1985, Father Reitz was appointed Chaplain of Knights of Columbus, Our Lady of Good Council #8556. He retired to the status of Senior Priest and moved back to his family home in June of 1993.
As his retirement years progressed, Father Reitz worked with The Trinitarians of Mary, who helped keep up the farm, provided personal care for both, Fr. Reitz and his brother, Fr. Bill, and provided spiritual solace to others in the area. Special thanks are due to his friends Jim and Jerry, who, for many years provided immense help managing Fr. Joe's health care and financial matters.
Bishop Steven J. Raica commented, “When thinking of Father Reitz, one cannot help but think of him as a dedicated servant of God and a faithful priest who loved the Blessed Mother. Father Reitz wanted so much for those he served to know they were loved by God. This often led him to speak with humor and a fair dose of candor.”
Father Joseph Reitz was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings, Father William Reitz, Virginia Reitz and Margaret (Howard) Scheid. Immediate survivors include Margaret's six children, Mary Jo (Kenneth) Cusack, Barbara (Barry) Trierweiler, John (Daniel Snyder) Scheid, Joseph (Marybeth) Scheid, Jeanette (Cindy) Scheid, and Daniel (Kate) Scheid.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 AM Thursday, January 9, 2020 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Belding with Bishop Steven J. Raica as principal celebrant. Committal prayers will follow at St. Mary’s Miriam Cemetery, Belding. Visitation will be Wednesday January 8, 2020, 6-8 pm with a Rosary at 8:00 pm at Johnson-Feuerstein Funeral Home, 203 Pleasant St., Belding, MI 48809. In lieu of flowers, donations to Emmanuel Hospice or St. Ann’s Home of Grand Rapids may be sent to Johnson-Feuerstein Funeral Home of Belding, MI.