Brother Nathanael Necaster, OFM, died Sept. 14, 2016, at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J. He was 86.
The former Lawrence John Necaster was born Sept. 3, 1930, in Farrell, Pa., Lawrence and Concetta (Palanti) Necaster. He attended Youngstown State University's Dana Music School in Ohio for two year, to study piano and organ, after which he served in the U.S. Army from 1951-53.
Upon leaving the Army, he entered St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon. Instead of ordination to the priesthood, the future Brother Nathanael opted to pursue a lay formation program at St. Stephen's Friary in Croghan, where he learned trades from 1955-57.
In 1958, he was received into the Franciscan Order in Lafayette, N.J., professing first vows in 1959. He served at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary for three years before professing solemn vows in 1962.
Brother Nathanael was first assigned to St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and was an organist at a local high school. In 1965, he was transferred to the original Christ the King Seminary in Allegany.
Brother Nathanael lived there until the seminary relocated to East Aurora, serving the seminary for a total of 28 years. While there, he attended Olean Business Institute and served as secretary to the rector.
At Christ the King Seminary, Brother Nathanael served as director of records and registrar, also participating in liturgical programs as an organist and pianist. Additionally, he directed music for the seminary's Renewal Retreat Program for the nearby Franciscan Sisters of Allegany in the summer. When not at the seminary, he was also responsible for serving as an organist for Masses at nearby parishes.
In 1993, Brother Nathanael was transferred to St. Francis of Assisi Friary in New York City, where he served as an administrative assistant in the friary's vocation office until 2001, when he become a development assistant at St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., for five years. In 2006, he was transferred to Boston.
In 2012, Brother Nathanael retired to St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., later moving to Holy Name Friary.
He is survived by a sister, Annette Revale of Sharon, Pa.
Funeral Masses were held at St. Bonaventure Church in Allegany and at St. Anthony Church in New Jersey, with burial in St. Bonaventure Cemetery, also in Allegany.