Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Father Tom Hoctor, Retired Psychiatric Chaplain, Dies

Published March 31, 2011

Father Thomas D. Hoctor, a retired priest, teacher and chaplain who had retired to Alpharetta from New York, died March 22. Born Nov. 1, 1931, he was 80.

For over five decades, Father Tom’s work included parish ministry at the St. Thomas the Apostle, St. James and St. Louis parishes in Rochester, N.Y. He also ministered in the field of education, teaching English language and literature first at St. Andrew’s Seminary, and later at both St. John Fisher and Nazareth Colleges in Rochester. His third area of ministry was that of Catholic chaplain, first at the University of Rochester, where he had also pursued doctoral study.  In his final and favorite full-time ministry, he served for 22 years as Catholic chaplain at the Rochester Psychiatric Centre in Rochester, until his retirement from full-time ministry in June 2000.

After moving to Georgia, Father Tom continued to serve, this time as chaplain for seven years with the St. Joseph Cafasso prison ministry at Hays State Prison in Trion.

Father Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas D. and Mary (Keiber) Hoctor and his brother, Arthur E. Hoctor.  Survivors include his sister, Sister of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis Marion A. Hoctor of Rochester, his sister-in-law, Barbara L. Hoctor of McKinney, Texas, and by Theresa and Robert Lynch of Alpharetta, his loving friends and caregivers. He is also survived by his nieces, Dawn Kern, Debra Burns and Kathleen Hoctor; nephews, Thomas C. and Arthur E. Hoctor; two grandnieces and four grandnephews, one great-grand niece and one great-grand nephew.

The funeral Mass for Father Tom was celebrated Friday, March 25, at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Alpharetta. Interment was at the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester. A memorial Mass will be held at the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Rochester Motherhouse in April.