Published October 2, 2008
Marist Father Patrick Dwayne Primeaux, 61, died Aug. 25 at the Marist community residence at Marist School. He had been struggling with cancer for a year. As his strength deteriorated over this past summer, he made the decision to leave his residence near St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., where he had been teaching, and move to Atlanta to spend his remaining weeks and months surrounded by his fellow Marist priests and brothers. He had just arrived in Atlanta the night before, and after what appeared to be a peaceful and comfortable night, he slipped away the next morning.
Father Primeaux was born in Abbeville, La., on Feb. 1, 1947, the son of Isaac Primeaux and Jeanne Picard Primeaux. He attended college at the Marist Seminary in Washington, D.C., and professed his first vows in the Society of Mary on Sept. 12, 1968. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the University of Louisiana.
He taught for a year at Marist School in Atlanta, 1971-1972.
After this, he earned a master’s degree in theology from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto, Canada. Father Primeaux was ordained to the priesthood in his home parish in Lafayette on May 27, 1977.
Following ordination, Father Primeaux earned his Ph.D. at St. Michael’s College. He combined parish and campus work at St. Peter Church and Cleveland State University, in Cleveland, Ohio. He also served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church, Gramercy, La., from 1980-88. He earned a master’s degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, in 1989 and stayed on to teach business ethics as an adjunct professor.
After serving as an associate pastor at the Marist parish of St. Louis King of France in St. Paul, Minn., from 1990-92, Father Primeaux began a 15-year-long association with St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., eventually serving as the chairman of the department of theology and religious studies.
He published numerous articles in both Catholic and business journals and wrote several books, including “The Moral Passion of Bruce Springsteen,” published in 1996.
Those who knew Father Primeaux were touched by his warm affability and enthusiasm in whatever he did. He had an active imagination, especially in light-hearted humor, which could turn instantly to a rapier wit. Yet he could also immediately switch to the deepest efforts of the intellect to analyze and explain the mysteries of life.
Father Primeaux was preceded in death by his father and is survived by his mother, Jeanne, and three sisters, Yvette Lantier of Scott, La., Virginia Suire of Baton Rouge, and Yvonne Primeaux of Lafayette, and a brother, Eric Primeaux of Kenner, La.
The funeral Mass for Father Patrick Primeaux was held Sept. 3, in Gramercy, La. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations and Mass intentions may be made to the Marist Society, 4408 8th Street, NE, Washington, D.C., 20017-2298.