Canon Eugene Nee served with the US Air Force
Duleek, Coventry and San Antonio, Texas are united in mourning this week for a quite unique local priest. Canon Eugene Nee passed away last week in the 54th year of his vocation.
His funeral was on Monday last in Coventry and a mass of Christian burial will be held in St. Cianan's Church, Duleek, on Saturday (January 19th) at 11am, followed by interment in the family plot, in the local cemetery.
Canon Nee enjoyed an incredible life, including seeing service with the US army in Vietnam and Korea where he was a chaplain to the troops.
Fr. Nee, who was educated at Duleek N.S. and Drogheda C.B.S., received his certificate of retirement from military service in the United States Air Force just over 30 years ago, having served as a chaplain, retiring with the rank of Lieut. Colonel.
He was awarded three Meritorious Service Medals and four Commendation Medals, a National Defence and Expeditionary Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Service Gallantry Cross Palm, plus others. He served for a long period in San Antonio, Texas.
He received a commendation medal from the USAF for his bravery and concern for his fellow men and women during a fire in an apartment complex.
Chaplain Nee also received the title of Canon from his excellency, the Archbishop of Izmir/Smyrna, Archbishop Bernardini Ciussepe, for his priestly work of preaching and teaching Jesus Christ, and building bridges between Christians, Muslems and Jews in that 7,000 year old city, home of one of the seven churches of the Book of Revelations, the legendary home of Homer.
Fr. Eugene was born in Curra, Louisburgh, Mayo, and received the beginning of his education from his parents, four brothers and three sisters, and the Killadoon N.S. He continued his education at Duleek N.S., and St. Josephs C.B.S., Drogheda, and St. Kierans College, Kilkenny.
Canon Nee, a certified reality therapist, served as chaplain with NATO in Germany, Iceland, Norway, Turkey and England. In the Pacific theatre, he served in the Vietnam war, Thailand and Korea. He has also served in several bases and hospitals in the U.S.A.
In recent years, he was based in Coventry, but came home last summer to celebrate his 80th birthday.
Son of the late Peter and Annie ( nee O' Grady), he was predeaceased by his brothers Peter, John, Thomas, and Patrick, sisters Kathleen Nee, Patricia Prendergast, Mary Mc Goey, and Beatrice O' Malley.
Deeply mourned by his brother Vincent (Scarsdale, NY), nieces, nephews, extended family, brother priests, and a large circle of friends.