CHAMPLAIN — Rev. James A. Delbel, 69, died July 10, 2013, 4:30 a.m. at St. Mary's Rectory in Champlain, N.Y. after a valiant battle with cancer.
Father Delbel was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on Nov. 8, 1943, son of the late Nello V and Evelyn M. Eagleson Delbel.
After graduation from Plattsburgh High School, he completed Bachelor of Arts studies at St. Lawrence University in Canton and Master of Arts studies at Penn State University, University Park, Pa. in 1970. Father entered Wadhams Hall in 1977, continuing his theological studies at the American College in Louvain, Belgium. He was ordained at St. Mary's Cathedral in Ogdensburg, N.Y. on Sept. 5, 1981, by Bishop Stanislaus J. Brzana.
Father Delbel's first assignment was as Associate Pastor at Notre Dame, Malone, and then Associate Pastor at St. John's, Plattsburgh, N.Y. and in 1984 he was asked to be principal at St. John's Academy in Plattsburgh. In 1987, Father was Associate Pastor at St. Mary's Cathedral in Ogdensburg and was temporary Administrator of St. Mary's Cathedral from 1990 to 1991. In June of 1991, Father was named Pastor of St. Regis Falls and Holy Cross, Hopkinton; in 1998, Pastor at Willsboro and Essex, and Pastor of St. Mary's Champlain in 2005. While in Willsboro, Father was Chaplain at Moriah Shock prison and active in High Peaks Hospice.
Father Delbel is survived by his sister Linda Ivanits and her husband Deacon Laszlo Ivanits, who serves as deacon at Penn State University and was a great help to Father Delbel these past months. Father is also survived by his sister Moreen Austin and a brother Jeffery Delbel.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 15, with the Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of Ogdensburg presiding, and the priests of the diocese concelebrating. The homilist will be Rev. Clyde Lewis, Pastor of St. Patrick's in Rouses Point, N.Y.