Deacon James D. Hankey; served 33 years in Southern Tier - Catholic Courier

Deacon James D. Hankey; served 33 years in Southern Tier

Deacon James D. Hankey, who served in the Southern Tier region of the Diocese of Rochester, died July 16, 2023 in Los Angeles, Ca., from Parkinson’s disease. A permanent deacon for 33 years, he would have celebrated his 75th birthday July 30.

Deacon Hankey grew up in Corning and worked for Corning Glass (1971-86), first as an engineer and later in information technology. He graduated from Clarkson University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial distribution and a master’s degree in management.

In 1986, he became the business manager for Immaculate Conception Church in Ithaca. He also began studies at St. Bernard’s Institute, where he completed a master’s degree in theology. Bishop Matthew H. Clark ordained Deacon Hankey to the permanent diaconate June 2, 1990, at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Rochester.

After ordination, he became the first deacon at Immaculate Conception and served there until 1999. He then served at All Saints Parish in Corning from 2000-11. In 2011, he began serving on the board of CareFirst, which provides hospice and palliative care for Steuben, Chemung and Schuyler counties. He also served as a chaplain for Arnot Ogden Medical Center and spiritual adviser with CareFirst (2013-15).

“Deacon Jim was truly a servant of God wherever he was,” said Deacon Daniel Hurley, a longtime friend of Deacon Hankey’s from the Southern Tier. “First and foremost, he was a devoted husband and wonderful father. He, as well, looked upon his parishioners as additional gifts from God to be nurtured and nourished and led closer to God and God’s kingdom.”

Deacon James Steiger, a friend and diaconal classmate, noted that Deacon Hankey “was a brilliant man; he knew computers both inside and out” who also piloted his own airplanes.

“I always enjoyed spending time with him, listening to his current projects and what he was up to,” added Deacon David Palma, another classmate.

Deacon Hankey was equally adept at ministry, Deacons Steiger and Palma added.

“His homilies were always well received, and people really appreciated him,” Deacon Steiger said. “He worked very well with parishioners. They loved him.”

“He was a really nice guy,” Deacon Palma remarked. “I found him very dedicated to ministry; he worked hard when he was in Ithaca and Corning. He really loved being in ministry.”

Deacon Hankey attained senior status in 2018. He continued to assist at All Saints in Corning until 2022.

He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years ago, according to Deacon Steiger. In September 2022, Deacon Hankey and his wife, Dora, relocated to Torrance, Calif., to be near family.

In addition to his wife, Deacon Hankey is survived by his sons, Eric and Michael; and four grandchildren.

A memorial Mass for Deacon Hankey will take place Sept. 2, 2023, at 9 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 158 State St., Corning. 

Tags: Deacons, Steuben County News
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