Reverend Delma Thomas Clemons, a priest of the Diocese of Owensboro, Kentucky, passed away on February 16, 2021 at the Heartford House in Owensboro at the age of 82.
Fr. Clemons was born in Pearman, Kentucky on January 9, 1939 to Clarence L. and Nora Sims Clemons. He attended grade school at St. Benedict Grade School in Wax from 1946-1953 and completed high school at St. Thomas Seminary in Louisville from 1954-1958. He attended college seminary at St. Thomas Seminary for the next two years before transferring to St. Mary’s College in St. Mary, Kentucky. In 1962 he continued his seminary studies at St. Maur’s Seminary in South Union, Kentucky, where he graduated in 1966.
Fr. Clemons was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Owensboro by the Most Reverend Henry J. Soenneker at St. Benedict Parish in Wax on May 1, 1966. His first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Bowling Green from 1966-1967. He then served as associate pastor of Sts. Joseph & Paul Parish in Owensboro from 1967-1971. In 1971 he received his first role as pastor at both St. Paul Parish in Princeton and Resurrection Parish in Dawson Springs. During his time there he was a chaplain at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville. He held these assignments until 1981. From 1981 until 1985, Fr. Clemons served as pastor at Christ the King Parish in Madisonville; followed by serving as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Owensboro from 1985-1995; and pastor at St. Jerome Parish in Fancy Farm, St. Charles Parish in Bardwell and St. Denis Parish in Fancy Farm from 1995-2004. Fr. Clemons retired from ministry in 2008.
Fr. Clemons’ other roles include serving as a Dean for the Central and Fancy Farm Deaneries and serving on the Priest Personnel Committee and Priests Council for the Diocese of Owensboro. He assisted with the creation of Lourdes Daycare Center in 1987 and was instrumental in the purchase of property for the Catholic Pastoral Center near Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in 1990. He was passionately committed to the Cursillo movement, serving as spiritual director for numerous weekends for both men and women over the years.
For the last several years of his life, Fr. Clemons resided at the Carmel Home in Owensboro.
Fr. Clemons was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings: brothers, Carmel Clemons, Daris Clemons and Kenneth Clemons; sisters, Audrey Clemons, Melvie Clemons, Oleta Clemons, Hazel Higdon, Norma (Teen) Robinette, Mildred White and infants, Marguette Clemons, Wanda Mae Clemons and Judy Clemons.
He is survived by his brother, Paul Vincent (Brenda) Clemons; sister-in-law, Odaline (Carmel) Clemons; and numerous nieces and nephews, and great-nieces and nephews.
Fr. Clemons’ Mass of Christian Burial will take place at St. Benedict Parish in Wax on Tuesday, February 23, 2021 at 11:00 AM, followed by interment at St. Benedict Cemetery. The Most Reverend William F. Medley, Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro, will preside. Visitation will be held at Rogers-Oller Funeral Home in Clarkson on Monday, February 22, 2021 from 4:00 – 7:00 PM with prayers at 6:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to the Carmel Home, 2501 Old Hartford Rd, Owensboro, KY 42303.
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