Albert Joseph Fey was born on December 28, 1920, in McKeesport, Pennsylvania to Leo and Mary (Keddie) Fey. He entered Brunnerdale Seminary in Canton, OH in October, 1934 and made Temporary Incorporation on November 30, 1938, at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, IN. He was Definitively Incorporated as a Missionary of the Precious Blood on December 3, 1941 at St. Charles Seminary in Carthagena, OH, and Ordained to the Priesthood at St. Charles on February 2, 1946.
Father Al spent more than 60 years as a priest in parish ministry, beginning on February 27, 1946 when he was assigned as parochial vicar to St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. For the next ten years, Father Fey served as parochial vicar in parishes in Ohio and Virginia. On June 20, 1956, Father Al was named pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Blackstone, Virginia. He remained there until 1961, when he was named pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mystic, Iowa, with a mission at Rathbun. It was during his 16-year tenure as pastor in Mystic, that Father Al delivered the Dedication Prayer for the Rathbun Lake Dam in 1971. The president of the United States at the time, Richard M. Nixon, attended the dedication and in his speech referred twice to Father Fey’s “eloquent prayer.”
In August, 1977, Father Fey moved to Sacred Heart Parish in Miami, Oklahoma. He remained pastor in Miami for seventeen years. On November 23, 1994, Father Al became pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Baileyville, KS, where he celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest in 1996 and his 60th anniversary of priesthood on January 29, 2006. He remained in Baileyville until he retired to St. Charles Center in Carthagena, OH in June, 2007 at the age of 86.
Father Al’s long tenures as pastor in Mystic, Miami, and Baileyville left a deep impression on the people he served. As he was leaving Mystic to move to Miami, one parishioner wrote the provincial affirming, “The time that Fr. Fey has spent in Mystic and Rathbun has not only been for the growth of the Catholic faith in these parishes, but he has worked for the growth and betterment of the whole community.” Another parishioner attributed this to “his love of our Lord, which shines forth from him like an iridescent light.”
This “iridescent light” was seen most clearly in his generous and gracious smile. As his sister, Marie, said, “Fr. Al was a happy priest.” Serving the people of God as a pastor was his greatest joy, but he also loved to fish. “If more people went fishing,” Fr. Al told a reporter for a Des Moines newspaper in 1973, “there’d be less trouble in the world.”
As he was an ardent activist against abortion, the parishioners in Baileyville dedicated a Memorial to the Unborn in honor of Fr. Al in front of Sacred Heart Church in 2005.
Father Fey is survived by two sisters, Marie and Isabel, of St. Henry, OH. He was preceded in death by his parents Leo and Mary, and his older brother, Father George Fey, also a Missionary of the Precious Blood, who died earlier this year.
Funeral was Dec. 10 at St. Charles. Burial is at St. Charles Cemetery.
May he rest in God’s gracious peace.