Fr. Gerald Thaar (1937-2017): Crosier priest’s ministry spanned rain forest, desert, native Michigan

Fr. Gerald “Jerry” Thaar, OSC

Born: Sept. 7, 1937
First Profession: Aug. 28, 1959
Ordained: May 22, 1965 for the Crosiers

Service in the Diocese of Phoenix
Sacramental Minister Blessed Sacrament Parish in Scottsdale
Chaplain assistance at Vi Grayhawk Senior Living Community in Scottsdale

Died: Feb. 18, 2017

Funeral services in Minnesota Feb. 22

Memorial Mass in Arizona: 10 a.m. March 25 at Priory in Phoenix

Memorials are preferred to:
Crosier Fathers and Brothers, PO Box 500, Onamia, MN, 56359
Crosier Province of St. Odilia, 2617 E. Campbell Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85016

The Crosier Communities of Onamia and Phoenix mourn the loss of Fr. Gerald “Jerry” Thaar, OSC. He was 79.

He spent recent years serving Blessed Sacrament Parish in Scottsdale and offering chaplain assistance at Vi Grayhawk Senior Living Community in Scottsdale until 2014 when he returned to the Crosier Priory in Minnesota.

Fr. Thaar was born Sept. 7, 1937, in Detroit, Michigan, to William and Adeline (Polin). He was the middle brother to William and Dan who both preceded him in death in 2016.

Fr. Thaar entered the Crosier Order Aug. 27, 1958, making his first profession of vows Aug. 28, 1959. He was ordained a Catholic priest May 22, 1965.

He spent 27 years with the Crosier missions in the Diocese of Agats in Asmat, Papua, in the rain forests of Indonesia. Following his return to the United States, he served the parishes of St. Dennis in Royal Oak, Michigan, as a member of the Crosier Community of Riverview (Michigan), and then was assigned to Arizona.

In 2014, Fr. Thaar moved to the Crosier Community of Onamia (Minnesota), residing at the neighboring Lake Song Assisted Living. He died unexpectedly Feb. 18, at the Mille Lacs Health System hospital. Fr. Thaar is survived by a small extended family and by his Crosier confreres in Onamia and Phoenix.