Reverend Albin Joseph Gietzen entered eternal life on Sept. 7, 2017 at the age of 93. He was born on June 5, 1924, in Kingsley, to Joseph and Veronica (Hansen) Gietzen.
He attended Tompkins School, Bartlett School, Hanover Township Agricultural School, Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit and St. John's Provincial Seminary in Plymouth. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sacred Heart Seminary and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. He was ordained on June 2, 1956 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit by His Eminence Edward Cardinal Mooney.
Following his ordination Father Gietzen joined the Sulpicians and taught speech in two of their seminaries in Maryland. He came to the Diocese of Gaylord in 1977 and served as associate pastor for St. Mary Cathedral in Gaylord and the Mission of Holy Redeemer in Vanderbilt. In 1978 he was appointed ordinary confessor for the sisters at the Sacramentine Monastery in Conway. He was named administrator for St. Stephen Parish in Lake City, the Mission of St. Rita in McBain, the Mission of St. Theresa in Manton in 1980 and also served as ordinary confessor for the Sisters of Mercy at Mercy Hospital in Cadillac and chaplain for the Knights of Columbus. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Gaylord on Jan. 20, 1982 and began a three-year term on the Board of Advisors of the Department of Worship. In 1985 he was appointed as pastor for Holy Rosary Parish in Cedar and St. Rita-St. Joseph Parish in Maple City. He became the diocesan liaison to the Catholic Charismatic Renewal on July 14, 1988. He was appointed as pastor for St. Mary Parish in Hannah on June 30, 1993 and remained there until he retired to senior priest status in August 2001.
Father Al was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings, Rita Colerus, Rosalene Renauer, Mary Snell, Magdalene O'Hara and Gerard Gietzen.
He was loved by 13 nieces and nephews and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
Visitation will be held today, Sept. 10, from 3 to 8 p.m., at Covell Funeral Home, 232 E. State St., Traverse City, with a vigil service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Monday, Sept. 11, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1025 S. Union St., Traverse City, from 10 a.m. until the time of the funeral Mass at 11 a.m., which will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Steven J. Raica, Bishop of Gaylord.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Mary Parish in Hannah (Kingsley), Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit or the seminarian fund for the Diocese of Gaylord.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Covell Funeral Home of Traverse City.
Published on September 10, 2017