Obituaries: Father Stephen McCall, Deacon Dale Fickes, Deacon Raymond Skupnik


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Father Stephen McCall
SAN DIEGO – Father Stephen McCall, a retired priest of the Diocese of San Diego, died Jan. 24. He was 71.

Born in Long Beach, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 12, 1979, in Redwood City, California, for the Diocese of San Diego.

His first assignment was as an associate pastor at St. Martin of Tours Parish in La Mesa (1979-1981). Subsequent assignments included both diocesan positions, such as diocesan director of religious education (1983) and vicar for education and director of communications (1985-86), and parish work, including as pastor of St. Mary Star of the Sea Parish in Oceanside (1991-1996), St. Patrick Parish in Carlsbad (1996-2005), and St. Mary Magdalene Parish in San Diego (September 2005 until his retirement in early July 2020).

The funeral Mass, with Bishop Robert McElroy presiding and Msgr. Mark Campbell as homilist, was celebrated Feb. 5 at St. Mary Magdalene Parish.

Deacon Dale Fickes
SAN DIEGO – Deacon Dale Fickes, a retired deacon of the Diocese of San Diego, died Jan. 15. He was 72.

Born in Washington, D.C., he grew up in Pomona, California. Raised as a Baptist, he became Catholic so that they could marry in the Church, a decision Deacon Fickes later claimed was “the best thing I ever did besides marry Peggy” in 1973.

At age 50, he started feel called to the diaconate and, four years later, applied for the formation program. Following his ordination on June 8, 2007, he ministered at St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Carlsbad.

In 2012, Deacon Fickes and his wife moved to Gig Harbor, Washington, to be closer to their two daughters.

Deacon Mike Daniels, who was ordained the same year, recalled Deacon Fickes’ “sweet nature.” Deacon Fickes, he said, “cared deeply about the people in his parish and would drop anything to help someone in need.  He was a deacon’s deacon.”

A Requiem Mass for Deacon Fickes was celebrated Jan. 22 at St. Nicholas Church, his parish in Gig Harbor.

Deacon Raymond Paul Skupnik
SAN DIEGO – Deacon Raymond Paul Skupnik, a former deacon of the Diocese of San Diego, died Dec. 12, 2020. He was 80.

Born in Chicago, he married his high school sweetheart, Carol, in 1960. Four years later, they moved to California and settled in San Diego.

On May 31, 1986, he was ordained as a permanent deacon, serving at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Ramona. His ministry included dedicated service to serve the poor and needy, helping migrants at a homeless shelter and feeding the hungry. He was parish director to the Ramona Food and Clothes Closet, and also served the Ramona Community Nonprofit Housing Foundation.

In 1995, the Skupniks moved to Long Beach to be near his ailing father. He served at St. Cyprian Church there for many years. Deacon Skupnik was widowed in 2015.

Vince and Melia Guglielmetti, parishioners at St. Cyprian’s, said, “Ray was the best friend a person could ever ask for and we will miss him dearly.”

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