FALL RIVER, Mass. — Deacon Bernard Gilles Théroux, age 85, a longtime resident of Fall River, MA, and Portsmouth, R.I., passed away Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at Catholic Memorial Home. He was born on February 25, 1933, son of Albert E. and Beatrice (ne Bouchard) Théroux. He attended Ste. Anne School, Msg. Provost High School and attended two seminaries in Canada and St. Michael’s College in Vermont.
Deacon Bernard was united in marriage to Lorraine Yvonne (ne Desrosiers) on July 4, 1956, and throughout their lives together Deacon Bernie was always dedicated to Lorraine, his wife for over 62 years. His family, their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were loved beyond words.
He began his working career as assistant to the pastor, at Ste. Anne Parish and Shrine, located in Fall River, MA, and continue to serve Ste. Anne’s for 25 years, then moving to the chancery offices for the Diocese of Providence Rhode Island. From there, Deacon Bernie began a 30-year career of service for the Rhode Island Veteran’s Home. There he served in a variety of capacities, most notably was his time as chaplain and director of Volunteer Services.
Being Ordained a deacon for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in 1977, Deacon Theroux fulfilled assignments at St. Anthony Parish in Portsmouth, as well as St. Mary’s in Bristol and the Rhode Island Veteran’s Home. He served these communities, willingly and well, as teacher, preacher and friend.
Through all of his ministerial service, Deacon Theroux was also proprietor of Théroux Accounting and Secretarial Services in Fall River. He served as president of the French Cultural Society of Greater Fall River. He was a charter member of the Fall River Richelieu Club, a French service association dedicated to helping underprivileged children. He served as president for two terms and secretary for 25 years. He was later regional governor of clubs for New England and was elected to the Richelieu Society International Board.
Deacon Bernard was “Knighted,” on two occasions by the French government when he received “Les Palmes Scademiques de France,” for his outstanding efforts as a community leader to promote the preservation of French culture and language, and the “L’Ordre Du Merite National De France” during the visit of President Giscard D’Estaing to the U.S. in 1976. Deacon Bernard also served the French Government in the New England area as “L’Agent Consul Honoraire de France.”
Having served as president of the Chêverus Council of L’Union Saint Jean-Baptiste, he also was the editor of L’Union Journal and was a well-known host and director of the French Musical Hour heard every Sunday afternoon for over 45 years, and as host of his French Talk Show on WGBH, TV, Boston.
Deacon Bernie is survived by his wife Lorraine; his children, Roger T. (Kristen) Théroux, Marc A. (Jennifer) Théroux, Diane T. (Michael) Bérubé, and Reverend Denis B. Théroux; and his grandchildren, Neil (Emily) Berube, Paul (Joanne) Théroux, Michele (Steve) Whitford, and Benjamin Théroux; and his great-grandchildren, Nolan, Landon, Wyatt and Evan Théroux, as well as Lucas, and Lydia Whitford and Timothy Bérubé.
A Christian Mass in celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church, 330 Wood St., Bristol. A short reception will follow Mass in the church hall. Remembrance donations in his honor may be sent to St. Mary’s Church.