Published August 3, 2006
Father Charles J. Kerscher, a retired archdiocesan priest who lived in residence at St. Pius X Church, died Tuesday morning, Aug. 1. He was 88.
A unique priest in the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Father Kerscher was ordained in 1979, at the age of 62, after the death of his wife of 34 years, Edna Marie.
He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Bill Troutner of Monroe; son and daughter-in-law Charles Jr. and Darleen Kerscher of Williamson; six grandchildren, Pamela Marie Brown, Natalie Ann Coursey, Dennice Kerscher, Debra Barelli, Charles Kerscher III and Chad Kerscher; and 18 great-grandchildren.
Though born in Omaha, Neb., Father Kerscher spent most of his life in Atlanta, attending Sacred Heart Grade School and Boys High School. He then attended Georgia Tech for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Army just before World War II. He served in the Army for eight years and upon his return began working for the Atlanta Post Office until his retirement in 1972.
The then Deacon Kerscher told The Georgia Bulletin in 1979 that when his wife died, he found himself “retired, with a good pension, all my children grown, and no responsibilities or unfinished business. I was free to pursue a new adventure.”
He was excited to become a priest and said it was a dream of his father’s, who always wanted a priest in the family.
“I’ve been a lot of things in my life: breadwinner, parent, widower, soldier, civil servant, retired person. I think I’ll be able to share with the parishioners many areas of their life: the joy at the birth of a child, sorrow in sickness and death, career anxieties, all the things that go into living. I think this kind of priestly service will be the ‘crowning point of my life.’”
After his ordination Father Kerscher served as a parochial vicar at Corpus Christi Church, Stone Mountain, through 1984. He then served as a parochial vicar at St. John Neumann Church, Lilburn, from 1984-88 and as a parochial vicar at St. Pius X Church, Conyers, from 1988 until his retirement in 1997.
Father John Kieran, pastor of St. Pius X, was to celebrate the funeral Mass on Thursday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m. A private burial ceremony at Arlington Cemetery in Sandy Springs was to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home at 760 Pollard Boulevard, SW, Atlanta, GA 30315. Condolences for Father Kerscher’s family may be submitted online at www.ScotWard.com.