Father Ken Dakin, a retired priest of the San Antonio Archdiocese who served as the longtime pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Uvalde, died in hospice care at his home in Canyon Lake on June 1 at the age of 81 from brain cancer.
Father Kenneth M. Dakin was born on May 4, 1942 in Wilton, Maine, the second of four children of Milton and Dorothy Dakin, with one brother and two sisters.
He attended Wilton Academy for high school and college at the University of Maryland, with studies for the priesthood at Oblate School of Theology and the Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Massachusetts. He later attended courses at Cambridge University.
He was ordained to the priesthood on May 7, 1988, at Resurrection of the Lord Church in San Antonio by Archbishop Patrick F. Flores.
In information provided to Today’s Catholic in 1987, Father Dakin, then a seminarian, said he felt a call to a religious vocation at age 9, and responded to that call 20 years later.
Fr. Ken answered his religious calling while enlisted in the United States Air Force where he spent 21 years serving all over the world, including a year in Vietnam during the war.
He served as Knights of the Altar 0800 Mass Coordinator, Liturgy Committee and Planning Teams, and 0800 Eucharistic Minister La Voz all at Randolph Air Force Base Catholic Parish. He was awarded “The Air Force Commendation Medal” and “The Meritorious Service Medal” (First Oak Leaf Cluster). He worked up the ranks to Staff Sergeant.
After retiring as a Technical Sergeant from the Air Force, Fr. Ken continued his religious journey.
Fr. Ken never spoke Spanish in Maine and wanted to learn the language to celebrate Spanish Masses. He lived in Mexico with a family for a few months to learn and perfect his Spanish. That was an example of his dedication to the Ministry, he wanted to be fluent in his Spanish Masses.
Father Dakin served as a pastor administrator at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas from 1989-1991. Then served as a pastor of Sacred Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Rocksprings, Texas from 1991-1994. Which also included St. Mary Magdalen in Camp Wood and St. Raymond Catholic Church in Leakey.
Father Dakin served as pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Uvalde from 1994 to 2006. He left and took a sabbatical to be with his mother in Hospice Care in 2006-2007 in Maine. He returned to Texas and was then appointed pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Hondo, serving there from 2007 to 2013.
Father Dakin served as dean of the Uvalde Deanery from 1997 to 2003, secretary of the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council from 1998 to 2001, and chairman of the Presbyteral Council from 2001 to 2003.
Following his retirement, he moved to his residence in Canyon Lake and assisted at St. Thomas the Apostle Church there, and in ministry at other parishes across the archdiocese. Although retired, he still did Masses every weekend wherever needed and especially enjoyed celebrating Masses at Fort Sam Houston and Lackland & Randolph Air Force Bases in San Antonio.
Fr. Ken never really retired, he traveled all over and continued to help churches celebrate Masses, confessions, retreats, weddings, and funerals until his diagnosis.
Father Ken was proud of his military service, but stated it was a job. His true passion in life was the Ministry and he just loved celebrating Masses.
His hobbies included reading, walking 3 to 4 miles a day, bike riding and gardening. He enjoyed watching all sporting events, but especially baseball. In 2011, one of his adopted sons or foster sons as Fr. Ken referred to them. Took him to Arlington and they attended the World Series and saw the Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 5. It was great game and a check mark, off the bucket list.
Although being frugal himself, he generously helped anyone in need, especially college students. Fr. Ken gave to numerous charities from all over the world. He never wanted praise for all his good deeds and most will never be known. He was a very humble and kind man.
Father Ken was a father figure to many.
He is survived by two sisters, Joanne Dakin Ouellette of Georgetown, South Carolina and Beverly Dakin Oliver of Wilton, Maine; nephews, Jerry Williams, David Williams, and Tod Oliver; nieces, Amy Oliver, Jeanne Greene, Julie Smith, and Deanna Brown; numerous great nieces and great nephews.
Father Ken is preceded in death by his parents Milton and Dorothy Dakin and his brother Jerry Dakin.
A rosary will be held on Friday, July 7, 2023 at 7:00 p.m. at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church. A Memorial Mass will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Uvalde with interment of ashes following at Uvalde Catholic Cemetery.
Jerry Williams Paul Wayne Moss Jr.
David Williams Robert A. Moss
Tod Oliver Michael A. Moss
Bob Greene Jose M. Martinez
Bruce Smith Jonathan Moncada
Steve Brown Aaron “AJ” Garza
Timothy Hopkins Rodolfo R. Flores Jr.
Jason Hopkins Rodolfo R. Flores III
Brian Hopkins Deacon Daniel A. Ibarra
Jacob Williams Daniel A. Ibarra Jr.
Ricky Martinez Joaquin A. Ibarra
Greg H. Flores Jr. Jesus Rizo Jr.
Greg H. Flores III Manuel Rizo
Gabriel I. Flores Aaron Rizo
Roland Hernandez Alan Rizo
Albert B. Moreno Jr.