WORCESTER, Mass. - Rev. Arthur A. Ouillette, 88, a retired Worcester Diocesan priest devoted to church music, died Thursday, August 16, 2012 at St. Vincent Hospital, Worcester.
He leaves two brothers, Richard and Reginald Ouillette, both of Caribou, Maine, five sisters, Katherine Karr of Lancaster, Calif., Mona MacBain of Clinton, Conn., Ruth Vermette of Skowhegan, Maine, Greta Cianchette of Detroit, Maine and Sheila Jacobson of Gray, Maine, and many nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces.
He was born in Caribou, Maine, the son of Arthur and Leone (DesJardins) Ouillette.
Father Ouillette was a 1940 graduate of Caribou High School. After graduating from Becker College in 1942, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater including The Philippines during World War II. After the war, he entered the College of the Holy Cross, graduating in 1950.
Father Ouillette studied for the priesthood at the Grand Seminary in Montreal and St. John's Seminary in Brighton. He was ordained in 1955 at the Cathedral of St. Paul by then Bishop John J. Wright.
After his ordination, he was assigned to St. Paul's Cathedral as an assistant pastor and director of its Schola and Sanctuary Choir. In 1962, he was also named Diocesan Director of Sacred Music by Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan. He oversaw the installation of two new pipe organs at the cathedral and more recently assisted with the refurbishment of the same instruments.
Father Ouillette was transferred to Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in 1969. In 1973, he was named pastor of St. Pius X Church in Leicester, and also served as Cardinal Newman Chaplain for Leicester Junior College.
In 1982, he became pastor of St. Mary's Church in Southbridge. He went on a three month sabbatical in 1985 to study at the North American College in Rome. In 1991, he was appointed pastor of St. Mary's Church in Jefferson from which he retired in 1997. In retirement, he continued his priestly ministry, celebrating Mass at several churches.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul's Cathedral, 15 Chatham St., Worcester. The Most Rev. Robert J. McManus, Bishop of Worcester, will be the principal celebrant. Burial will be in Holy Rosary Cemetery, Caribou, Maine.
Calling hours are Tuesday, Aug. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. at St. Paul's Cathedral, Worcester with a vigil service to follow at 7 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Classical Music Studies Program at the College of the Holy Cross, 1 College St., Worcester 01610.