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Rev. Msgr. Col. Sidney J. Marceaux

Deceased: 2008-09-14


CSM Graduation Year: 1980

Chaplain (Col.) Monsignor Sidney J. Marceaux Jr., of Beaumont, Texas was the first-born son of a native French-speaking, Louisiana couple, Sidney and Lyvie Marceaux. He was raised in the rice fields of southwest Louisiana and learned English when he entered the first grade. He took his first job delivering newspapers when he was 10 years old. He also delivered prescription drugs for pharmacies. His his interest in the military grew when he attended Bishop Byrne High School in Port Arthur. The family lived near the Texas National Guard Armory and he would see the soldiers in their uniforms, marching and doing their exercises. While in high school in 1956, he joined the National Guard and served eight years. He attended Lamar University for a few years before transferring to St. Edward’s University in Austin, where he graduated in 1962 with degrees in business and history. Two years later, he earned his master’s degree in education from Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. Sidney taught for a while in Port Arthur, but felt the draw of the priesthood. He entered St. Mary’s Seminary in Houston, then earned a master’s in theology from St. Thomas University, also in Houston. After World War II, his family moved from Kaplan, La., where he was born, to Port Arthur where his father was employed by the Texas Company, which became Texaco and most recently merged with Chevron. After ordination, he served as assistant pastor at St. Anne Catholic Church, a taught religion at Kelly High School, served as a chaplain at Baptist Hospital, and as superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Beaumont. In 1975, Marceaux was commissioned as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve Chaplain Corps and was assigned to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C. During that time, he was assigned to The Catholic University of America, which also is in Washington, D.C. It was there where Marceaux earned a master’s in church administration and a license in canon law, which is the law governing the Catholic Church. It was one more degree in a long list. He had been set for retirement at the end of 2007, but because of a shortage of Catholic priests in the Army, requested one more active-duty tour. The assignment that lured him back was ministering to troops in combat. He died at age 69 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., from a non-combat related illness. Following evacuation from Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, he was assigned to the Warrior Transition Brigade, Walter Reed Army Medical Center. During what was to be his final tour in Kuwait, the 69 year old priest took sick and was sent to Walter Reed where he died peacefully in his sleep on Sptember 14, 2008. He honorably served 45 years in the military. He was the oldest soldier serving in Kuwait.