Deacon Joseph F. Sexton, a retired permanent deacon of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, died Dec. 17 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from complications related to COVID-19. He was 86 years old.
Deacon Sexton was the only child of the late Thomas and Margaret Sexton.
He entered a high school seminary but after graduation left to join the United States Army. He was stationed in Japan where he met his future wife, Barbara. After being honorably discharged from the military, he entered St. Joseph’s University where he earned a B.S. degree in accounting.
He was employed as a staff accountant for Conrail, and retired from there at the age of 60.
Deacon Sexton was ordained at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on June 11, 1995 by Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. He was assigned to St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Philadelphia, and remained there until his retirement in 2009.
Reception of the body and a viewing will be held Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 9:30 a.m., to be followed by the funeral Mass at 11, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 819 E. Cathedral Road, Philadelphia.
The principal celebrant and homilist will be Father James McGuinn. The deacon assisting at the Liturgy of the Word will be Deacon Vincent Thompson. The deacon assisting at the altar will be Deacon William Eliason.
Deacon Sexton was preceded in death by his wife Barbara, who passed away in 2003. He is survived by four children, Deborah, Michael, Janet and Thomas; as well as 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
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