Father Donald T. Fussner, who served as parochial vicar of St. Ann’s parish in the Bronx for 23 years and at St. Peter in Manhattan for 13 years, died June 10 at Mary Manning Walsh Nursing Home in Manhattan. He was 87.
A Funeral Mass was to be celebrated June 20 at St. Peter’s Church. Auxiliary Bishop Gerald T. Walsh was to be the celebrant and Father Kevin Madigan was to deliver the homily.
Father Fussner served at St. Ann, 1970-1993, and at St. Peter, from 1993 until his retirement in 2006. He resided at St. Peter following his retirement.
He also was parochial vicar of St. John the Evangelist, Mahopac, 1964-1970, and St. Lawrence O’Toole, Brewster, 1960-1964, and was elected to the Senate of Priests in 1967.
Father Madigan, who is now pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Thomas More parish in Manhattan, was pastor of St. Peter when Father Fussner was parochial vicar.
“He didn’t care about appearances. He was unassuming, very kind, non-judgmental and very direct in a kind way,” Father Madigan said.
“There was no pretense about him. What you got was a very kind and holy person. He was very dedicated to the priesthood.”
Father Madigan added that Father Fussner was known for keeping his door open at St. Peter, which is located in the business district of lower Manhattan.
“He was always available for people coming for confessions before work or at noontime during their lunch hour,” Father Madigan said.
Born in Manhattan, Father Fussner studied for the priesthood at Cathedral College and St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie. Cardinal Francis Spellman ordained him in 1960.
Burial was in St. John Cemetery, Queens.