A memorial Mass for Deacon Martin Towey was celebrated April 9 at St. Paul Church in St. Paul. Deacon Towey died April 5 at the age of 87.
Deacon Towey was married to Carole Ann Towey. Together, they had five children, Anne Toenjes, Mark Towey, Thomas Towey, Barbara Range, and the late Mary Towey.
A native of St. Louis, he attended St. Paul the Apostle School in Pine Lawn, St. Louis Prepatory Seminary and Saint Louis University, where he earned his master’s degree and then a doctorate. He started teaching at Riverview Gardens and then went to teach at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He later taught American history at SLU, where he became the history department chair.
Deacon Towey was ordained on Jan. 28, 1978 at the St. Louis Cathedral by Cardinal John J. Carberry, as part of the second ordination class of permanent deacons in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. He was assigned and assisted the pastor at Transfiguration Parish in Florissant from 1978-83, and then transferred to St. Matthias Parish in Lemay, serving from 1983-92.
From 1992 until 1996, Deacon Towey served the Archdiocese of St. Louis as an archdiocesan archivist and the director of the permanent diaconate. In 1997, Deacon Towey and his family moved to the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri, where he served the pastor in the parish of St. Anthony of Padua. He returned to the Archdiocese of St. Louis, where he served at St. Paul Parish in St. Paul as a deacon until he retired in 2014.
Deacon Towey served his parish by presiding at baptisms, funeral services and weddings. Additionally, he served his parish by leading RCIA classes and marriage preparation and annulment advisory consults and grief ministry.
He was also involved with the Boy Scouts, first as a scoutmaster then as district commissioner. He was a former chairperson of the Catholic Committee on Scouting. He also served on the archdiocesan Vocation Committee and committees for Synod 10.