Reverend George Francis Davich

July 2, 1932 - April 26, 2024
Reverend George Francis Davich
Service Date:
Saturday, June 1, 2024 11:00 AM
Service Location:

St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

Monsignor George Francis Davich was born on July 2,1932 in the once “little mining town” of Park City, Utah to Croatian immigrants John and Frances Davich, where he learned and exemplified strong family values and commitment to God, country, and community.  He was active in music, athletics and a fun-loving prankster who was proud to be a “Flag Waver: one who honors and shares the good news of the freedom of our country.”  He was always thrilled to participate in the annual Fourth of July parade. After graduation, he worked as a Job Analyst for Tooele Army Depot for 2 years.  He served in the US Army during the Korean Conflict (1952-54) in the Adjutant General’s Office, Commander of all Army, and Air National Guard in Washington DC. 

He graduated from Loras College, Dubuque, IA, (7th oldest Catholic College in the US) with a History Degree in 1958.  In 1962, he earned his Theology Degree from Saint Bernard Seminary and ordained a Catholic Priest at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, SLC, UT.  The next day, he celebrated his first Mass on May 13th,1962 at St Mary of Assumption Church, Park City, UT with his devoted mother by his side.

He was assigned as the Chaplain at Holy Cross Hospital and the VA Hospital where he was introduced to the sick, suffering and dying. This year integrally shaped his budding new life in ministry. 

Through his dedication to serve God, community and with his broad and diverse outreach, George built life-long friends and family (Catholic and non-Catholic) during appointments as Assistant Pastor & Pastor in Utah at: St Vincent de Paul, St Ann, St Joseph, and St James Churches along with teaching at Judge Memorial High School and St Mary’s of the Wasatch. In 1982 he was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese by Bishop Weigand. During these four years, he served as Director of: Diocesan Development Drive, Finance Commission, Mount Cavalry Cemetery, and Catholic Foundation of UT. Monsignor had a deep compassion for his faith and the families he served as evidenced by the multitude of letters and cards of gratitude from his congregation especially during their own times of need in questioning their faith.  He became Pastor and Administrator of St. Vincent de Paul Church and school in 1986 until his retirement in 2002. 

He enjoyed a variety of interests and hobbies such as: playing in bridge, gin and other card groups, writing poetry which he often included in his cherished Christmas letters, unselfishly conducted mass for the home-bound and/or for family and friends, consistent mailing of letters with motivational verbiage to those in need, rigorous “harness horse-racing” competitions, animal lover, playing the piano and was an outstanding singer and vocalist. Monsignor was a captivating, animated and engaging speaker/storyteller with a gift in making lasting and life-long positive impact to those in his presence.  He was most noted for bringing in his personal experiences to engage and connect with his audience in an authentic and transparent “open-heart and open arms” manner. 

Monsignor had a special concern for the poor as he oversaw the building of the St Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen and founder of The Marillac House for abused women and children. Through his work and dedication to these foundations, he was an inspiration to those who benefited from his legacy. 

In 2004, Monsignor was requested by the ALSAM Foundation to relocate to San Diego to become consultant in the building of the Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista, CA. His role and contributions were significant in opening the English-speaking Language School for Hispanics which furthered his outreach amongst his faith-based responsibilities. This curriculum continues to this day. 

After retiring from his duties in Chula Vista, Monsignor relocated to Palm Springs, CA in 2007.  He once again served his community as an active volunteer to the Desert Aids Project (DAP), counseling HIV-Aids patients and working in their thrift stores to be instrumental in raising funds for DAP.  Monsignor supported the DAP mission: “concern for justice, compassion and love for fellow human beings, can accomplish miracles and can sustain human dignity and life where only fear and death would otherwise exist.”  At the time of his passing, he had accumulated an impressive 12,000 volunteer hours.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Joseph and sisters (also fun-loving, mischievous, and passionate about family): Helen Johnson, Eva Blockovich, Madeline Martin, Mary Bircumshaw and Kathryn Ballen. He is survived by a multitude of loving nieces and nephews.

On his 85th Birthday, Monsignor wrote a letter in which he shared, “As I’ve aged, I’ve become kinder to and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. Any vocation a person chooses does not guarantee a lifetime of total happiness and believe me that applies to being a priest. It worked because I made it work, I took the hard knocks, happy and sad times with the grace of God, and the marvelous support of the laity and my family.” 

May we all carry his message with us as we traverse this world: embrace life daily with gratitude, unfaltering faith, devotion, and acceptance of other’s support while placing personal pride aside.

In lieu of flowers, Monsignor would prefer donations to be made to the St Vincent de Paul Catholic School or St Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Vigil and Visitation with the family will be on Friday, May 31, 2024 from 6:00 until 8:00 PM at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 1375 East Spring Lane. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 1, 2024 followed by interment at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 4th Ave & “T” St.