A funeral Mass was offered Oct. 23 at St. Pius X Church, Loudonville, for Deacon John James Skelly, who died Oct. 16. He was 73 and had been a deacon for the Albany Diocese for 41 years.

A native of Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan, Ireland, he immigrated to the United States in 1959, served in the U.S. Army and entered the New York State Police. He became a permanent deacon in 1973 and served at St. Mary's parish in Nassau and Van Rensselaer Manor nursing home. He was later director of public safety at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, earned his nursing license and served as chaplain at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in Guilderland.

Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Ellen of Niskayuna; children Seamas O Scalaidhe of Rockville, Md., and Peter and Jizziyah of Guilderland; two grandsons and four siblings, Tom of Roanoke, Va., Pat of Smithtown, Peter of Ballyjamesduff and Celia Duffy of Staten Island. Interment was in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands.