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Father H. Clement Pangratz, OSB
Benedictine Father Clement Pangratz, a monk at St. Martin’s Abbey in Lacey, died July 13. He was 98.
Born Herman Pangratz in Spokane, he grew up in Port Angeles. His parents were immigrants from the Czech Republic and he spoke Czech at home. He also learned sign language to communicate with his younger sister, Anna, who was deaf.
He graduated from high school in 1938 and studied at then-St. Martin’s College and Mount Angel Seminary in Oregon. In 1941, he took first vows as a Benedictine at St. Martin’s Abbey and was ordained a priest there in 1947. He earned a sacred music degree from the Gregorian Institute of America in Chicago in 1949.
He was the organist, choirmaster and head of the infirmary for the abbey for many years. He also taught music and piano at St. Martin’s High School and St. Martin’s College (now University).
He was a chaplain at St. Placid Priory, the American Lake Veterans Administration Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital in Aberdeen, and most recently ministered at the Panorama City retirement community in Lacey.
As a young priest, he served at the Kelso mission churches and Assumption Parish in Seattle. He was the associate pastor at Queen of Angels in Port Angeles and assisted at other parishes in Clallam County from 1971 to 1981. He also served at McChord Air Force Base, Holy Rosary Parish in Tacoma, Sacred Heart Parish in Lacey and in mission churches in Alaska.
He was St. Martin’s Abbey’s director of members in simple profession in the 1950s, associate for members in formation in the 1960s, and subprior of the abbey more recently.
“He was a gentle, very deeply spiritual man,” said St. Martin’s Abbot Neal Roth. He noted that Father Pangratz was a confessor for most members of the abbey, as well as, many archdiocesan priests.
The late priest loved music, the outdoors and gardening and was active in Toastmasters and the Knights of Columbus for many years.
He is survived by his nieces Michelle Gagnon and Mary Treider and nephew Carl Pangratz.
A funeral Mass was celebrated July 27 at St. Martin’s Abbey Church.
Irene B. Welch
Irene Welch, a member of St. Matthew Parish, died July 23. She was 91.
A lifelong Seattle resident, she attended Immaculate grade and high schools.
She worked at the Navy Port of Embarkation and Vaupel Industries.
She enjoyed bowling, genealogy and spending time with her nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by Mary McKee, Margaret Harvey, Elizabeth McCloskey, Martin Welch and Richard Welch.
She is survived by her sisters Norene O’Toole and Florence Frost.
She was interred at Calvary Cemetery.