John P. Tracy

SOUTH PORTLAND – John Patrick Tracy died peacefully at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home in Portland on Sept. 16, 2020 with his dedicated and loving wife by his side after a courageous battle with dementia.

He was born in 1929, the oldest son of Patrick and Catherine (Earls) Tracy. He was educated at St. Dominic’s parochial school and graduated from Cheverus High School in 1947. He immediately followed in the footsteps of his father and hired out on the railroad when it was known as the Portland Terminal Company. He joined the Navy for a four-year stint through the Korean War. He served on minesweepers primarily as a helmsman. He was proud of being a veteran and was an active member in the VFW and American Legion. After his service he returned to the railroad until his retirement. He was well respected by his co-workers and customers and was very active in the union.

John had a great love for all things sports. He was an avid athlete in his youth, playing baseball, basketball, and football. He organized various tournaments while in the Navy. In his adult years, he bowled in various leagues and took up golf. He became a low handicapper and enjoyed teaching his sons the game in the backyard. He coached youth baseball and later umpired. He was a familiar sight at his children and grandchildren’s sporting events and at Cheverus High School football games and track meets.

John was extremely proud of his Irish heritage. He was well versed in Irish history and culture and often broke into a John McCormack song. He travelled to Ireland twice, followed the University of Notre Dame sports programs from his youth and was active in the Irish American Club in Portland. He was fixture at the Irish American picnic every summer on the campus of SMCC in South Portland and the St. Patrick Day’s parade.

Faith was central to everything in our dad’s life. He attended mass faithfully. In his retirement he served as a lector and funeral altar server at Holy Cross Parish. He also ministered at the Precious Blood Monastery. He taught faith formation and generously supported Catholic Education, both locally and in his son’s parishes. He served on the Diocesan Vocations Committee for many years. He was an extremely generous man, and supported many charities, especially the Catholic Appeal, St. Jude’s, Catholic schools and the Boys and Girls Club.

John loved his family and inspired them with his incredible work ethic, capacity to love and eagerness to learn. He was as close to his cousins as many people are to their siblings. He sacrificed greatly to be a part of his son’s activities and to educate them. He adored his grandchildren and sought every opportunity to be with them, travelling to Seattle many times, taking them to the beach in Maine and whatever else they needed.

John was predeceased by his loving parents; and his brothers, William and Robert.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Olympia (Sookie), with whom he shared a special bond. He has five sons, Fr. Philip A., Matthew, John F., Joseph and his wife Julia, and Robert. He loved his five grandchildren, Catherine, Brian, Maegan, Kelsey and Spencer. He is also survived by his siblings, Fr. Philip M., Christine Mallory and husband Donald, and Bernard; along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family would like to especially thank the staff at St. Joseph’s Nursing Home for their compassionate and attentive care these past several years, and the many family members and friends who supported us in their prayers and acts of kindness.

Visiting hours celebrating John’s life will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Conroy-Tully Walker South Portland Chapel. In accordance with state mandates, we respectfully require masks to be worn. Due to gathering restrictions, a Mass of Christian Burial will be limited to the immediate family. However, it will be livestreamed at at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1. To view Mr. Tracy’s memorial page or to share an online condolence, please visit

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made

in his name to the

Parish of the

Holy Eucharist,

266 Foreside Rd.,

Falmouth, ME 04105.

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