Father Simeon (Daniel) Rukstalis, OFM, Conv., died March 27, 2017, in Hamburg. He was 83.
He was born Sept. 25, 1933, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., to William and Nellie (Sankus) Rukstalis. He served in the U.S. Navy early in life. After completing service, he joined the Novitiate of the Franciscan Friars Conventual in 1957 and professed solemn vows in 1961. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1964.
Father Rukstalis completed philosophy and theology studies at St. Anthony-on-Hudson in Rensselaer. Early in his ministry, he taught at Catholic Information Center in Binghamton and served in Franciscan apostolates by performing ministry in several parishes and serving as a hospital chaplain in the Diocese of Syracuse. He also served as a hospital chaplain at Trenton Medical Center in New Jersey until 1986.
That year, he began serving throughout New York state, including in Utica, Endicott, Inlet and Raquette Lake. He served as a chaplain at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica and SS. Cyril and Methodius Church in Binghamton. He retired to live at the Father Justin Senior Friars Residence in Hamburg until his death.
A funeral Mass was held at Assumption Church in Syracuse, with burial in St. George Cemetery in Whitesboro.