Father Frederick Alexander Kochan, 92, peacefully entered Eternal Life on October 1, 2022 after a short illness at Sunnyside Manor in Wall Township NJ. Son of the late Alexander Kochan and Felicia (Mudy) Kochan he was born and raised in Elizabeth, NJ. He was communicant of St. Adalbert’s Roman Catholic Church in Elizabeth where he served as an altar boy and attended St Adalbert’s Parochial School. He graduated from St Bonaventure High School and Minor Seminary in Sturtevent, WI in 1947. He entered the novitiate of the Franciscan Order at Pulaski. WI and attended St. Francis College in Burlington, WI earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1952. He studied for the priesthood at Our Lady of Lourdes Monastery and Seminary in Cedar Lake, IN. On June 4, 1955 he was ordained to the priesthood for the Franciscan Community by the late Bishop Leo A. Pursley in Holy Name Church, Cedar Lake, IN.
As a Franciscan Priest Father Kochan elected to do missionary work with the Black Communities in Mississippi. He was assigned to St. Francis Church in Greenwood MS as associate pastor and taught Latin and American History at its high school. From 1961-1974 he was Pastor of St. Anthony of Padua and a Newman Chaplain at Mississippi Valley State College in Itta Bena MS. While living in Mississippi he was active in the Civil Rights Movement and fought against segregation. He also pursued graduate studies Loyola University in New Orleans, LA and in 1963 received a master’s degree in education and Counseling.
In 1974 Father Kochan joined the Diocese of Wilmington where he served as associate pastor to St. John the Beloved Church, Sherwood Park, Wilmington. In 1979 he was assigned as associate pastor to St. Hedwig Church, Wilmington. In 1984 he was appointed associate pastor to Holy Spirit Church, New Castle and became its pastor in June 1985 for 12 years. In 1997, he returned to St. John the Beloved Church as associate pastor.
In 2000 he retired from active ministry with the Diocese of Wilmington and moved to Lavallette, NJ to be near his family. Although “retired” he continued his vocational calling by becoming the Weekend Assistant at St Bonaventure Church in Lavallette NJ and Our Lady of Peace in Normandy Beach, NJ. He continued celebrating the Holy Eucharist and inspiring the congregants with his homilies as weekend assistant in St Pio Church in Lavallette NJ until his illness.
Father Fred was a priest for life and completely devoted to the Catholic Church and the Teachings of Jesus Christ. He was a simple and gentle man who was beloved by many. He faithfully preached the Gospel and served Our Lord for 67 years.
Father Fred loved his life in Lavallette where he had vacationed since 1951. He enjoyed water skiing, running, jogging, swimming in the ocean and relaxing on the beach. He would often be seen walking the boardwalk and throughout town. He liked attending town and parish events, theater in NYC and travelling to California. He was an avid reader and was regularly seen at the Upper Shores Branch of the Ocean County Library reading four newspapers daily to stay informed. Father Fred was a staunch Pro-Life advocate and strongly believed in the protection of the unborn.
Father Fred was known as “Uncle Fred” to his family and a constant presence at numerous family occasions: marriages, baptisms, confirmations, anniversaries, graduations, renewal of marriage vows as well as funerals of his dear loved ones. He was part of family barbecues, birthday celebrations and holidays. He will be dearly missed.
He was predeceased by his parents Alexander Kochan and Felicia (Mudy) Kochan, his brothers Walter Kochan and John A. Kochan, his sisters Anna Bober and Josephine Wasilewski and his nephew John Kochan and his niece Johanna Kochan.
He leaves behind his cherished nieces and nephews: Diana Kochan, Eleanora Bean, Felicia Karstens, Maryanna Boekholt, Virginia Kochan, Loretta Bober, Deborah Wasilewski, Raymond Bober, Alex Kochan, Joseph M. Kochan and Edward Wasilewski. He is also survived by 11 great nieces and nephews and their children.
His family would like to acknowledge and offer thanks to the many who prayed for him and sent cards during his illness. He was very grateful for all the good wishes. His family also offers special thanks to the nurses and aides at Sunnyside Manor in Wall NJ and the nurses of Homeside Hopsice for the high level of compassionate care extended to him. Finally, his family expresses gratitude to the Lavallette First Aid Squad and Lavallette Police for aiding him at his time of need.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2022 at the Church of St Pio of Pietrelcina in Lavallette NJ from 9:00 AM – 10 AM followed by a Mass of Christian Burial.
Interment will be at All Saints Cemetery 6001 Kirkwood Highway in Wilmington, DE . The Timothy E. Ryan Home For Funerals 706 Grand Central Ave. Lavallette, NJ is in charge of the arrangements
Donations in his name may be made to his favorite charity: The Bayard House c/o Catholic Charities 2601 West 4th St, Wilmington DE 19805