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Ronald Precup, a Knight of the Holy Sepulcher lieutenant, dies at 70
For the Catholic Herald
ANN M. AUGHERTON | Catholic Herald
Ronald Precup and his wife 'Ronnie' are pictured at the North American College in Rome during the February 2012 consistory for Cardinal Edwin F. O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

Ronald George Precup, a parishioner of St. Agnes Church in Arlington and lieutenant of the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, died May 18 of cancer. He was 70 years old.

A funeral Mass was offered by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde at the Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington May 23.

Precup was born June 11, 1942, in Aurora, Ill., to parents Emily and George. He obtained his secondary education at Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, operated by the Benedictine monks. He earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Georgetown University in Washington in 1964 and his doctorate in law from Georgetown University Law Center in 1967. Precup served on active duty as a captain in the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps from 1968 to 1972.

In 1964, he married Alicemarie Veronica (“Ronnie”) Mauro of New York. The couple has lived in Arlington since 1967 and has three children and four grandchildren.

Washington Cardinal James A. Hickey invested Precup and his wife into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem in 1994. They were promoted to knight and lady commander in 2001, to knight and lady commander with star in 2005, and to knight and lady grand cross in 2011. Precup was appointed lieutenant of the Middle Atlantic Lieutenancy by Cardinal John P. Foley, then grand master, in 2010. He continued to serve in that role until his death.

Precup and his wife made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with the knighthood in May 2009 and February 2013. Both musicians, they served as members of the resident choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington for 14 years, at one point singing in Rome before the tomb of St. Peter for Blessed John Paul II. They also sang frequently with the Metropolitan Chorus and Ron Freeman Chorale and performed in several operas with local companies. Most recently they sang with the choir of the Cathedral of St. Thomas More.

Precup had a particular interest in liturgical music, especially chant and the motets of Renaissance composers. He also was the opera critic for Intermission Magazine in Washington from 1984 to 2010.

Since 1972, he worked in a private law firm in Washington and Virginia, representing individuals and small businesses in areas such as corporate law, government contracts, trademarks, and copyrights and appellate practice.

He is survived by his wife, Ronnie; his brother, James Precup; his children, Ronald Jr. Precup, Liz Saarie and Peggy Marlin; and four grandchildren, Madeline, Calvin and Finnian Saarie, and Arcadia Precup.

Contributions in his name may be made to Arlington diocesan Catholic Charities or to the American Cancer Society.

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