Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Longtime St. Thomas Aquinas deacon remembered 

Published July 12, 2022

ROSWELL—Deacon Edmund Joseph LaHouse died on June 21. He was a parishioner of St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Alpharetta, where he served since 1989 as a deacon, the fulfillment of a childhood dream. He was 92 years old. 

Deacon Edmund LaHouse

He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 25, 1930. He served stateside in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, and afterward he began a 40-year career with Aetna Life and Casualty in Hartford, Connecticut. While there, he graduated from the University of Connecticut and met the love of his life, Mary Sessa, at a company picnic. His warm-hearted nature overcame the reluctance of Mary’s Italian father to see his only daughter united with this French Irishman. The LaHouses were married on Nov. 24, 1951. 

Three children followed in five years, with a fourth coming seven years later. The LaHouses celebrated 51 years of marriage before her death from cancer in 2002. In 2006, Ed married a widow and dear friend Sandra Ruhling Wetzel. She died in 2015.  

Deacon LaHouse’s career at Aetna advanced rapidly, resulting in moves with increasing responsibility to Los Angeles, San Antonio, Syracuse and Atlanta where he retired from Aetna in 1991. Despite a busy life as a husband, father and executive, he also served his community as a town councilman in Enfield, Connecticut and Los Alamitos, California. Before and after retirement he served as a deacon at St. Thomas Aquinas and as one of the founding board members of the North Fulton Community Charities in Roswell. 

He was preceded in death by his father, Edmund J. LaHouse; mother, Mary Callahan LaHouse; wife, Mary J. (Sessa) LaHouse; and wife, Sandra Ruhling (Wetzel) LaHouse. He is survived by his sister, Joan Kaminsky; his children, Linda Howard (Terry), Edmund LaHouse Jr. (Mary), Thomas LaHouse (Anita), Dr. William LaHouse (Lori); Sandy’s children, Ann (Brad) and John (Lori); and grandchildren, Edmund III, Amanda, Deanna, Nick, Meghan, Chris, Erica, William and Michael. 

A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Church on June 28. A graveside service followed at Green Lawn Cemetery, Roswell. Donations may be made in memory of the deacon to North Fulton Community Charities, 11270 Elkins Rd, Roswell, GA 30076.