Former editor of the Catholic Advance dies in California at 93

Donald G. McClane, former director of religious education for the Diocese of Wichita and editor of the Catholic Advance, died Feb. 12 in Clovis, California, at the age of 93.
McClane was born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1924, the third of the four children of Joseph L. and Teresa A. McClane. He served in the army during World War II, during which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. His father was an aeronautical engineer, and McClane initially pursued a similar career, earning a degree in engineering at the University of Notre Dame. While employed at the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company in New Jersey, he met Georgia Meszaros, whom he married in 1952. Later he worked at the Thiokol Corporation in northern Utah.
In 1964, he abandoned his engineering career to study in the Institute of Lay Theology at the University of San Francisco. He subsequently served as director of religious education in Blessed Sacrament and the Cathedral parishes in Wichita for three years.
In 1968, he moved to northern Virginia and joined the staff of Triumph magazine, eventually becoming publisher. He also edited the Catholic Currents newsletter.
He returned to the Diocese of Wichita in 1973, where he was appointed the first diocesan lay director of religious education in the country. During his tenure, he strove to ensure that Catholic teaching was strictly orthodox at every level throughout the diocese. Later he added editorship of the Catholic Advance to his duties.
In 1985, McClane served as president of Catholics United for the Faith, then in New York. Two years later he joined one of his Triumph colleagues in a business in Virginia, remaining there after his retirement. He and Georgia later moved to California, where his daughter supervised his care.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Joseph, sisters Elizabeth Hadorn and Mary Ruth McClane, and daughter Maureen Fogle.
He is survived by wife Georgia, sons Donald, Jr., and Matthew, and daughters Eileen Uyeda and Margaret McClane. Services were held in California.

Obituaries, March 2, 2018

DANEK
Martha R. (Sterbenz), 103, All Saints, Wichita, Jan. 19.
BENSON
Mark Robert, 57, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Jan. 20.
GALLARDO
Richardo “Richard,” 89, St. Mary, Moline, Jan. 22.
HERNANDEZ
Jaime Arturo, 24, St. Patrick, Wichita, Jan. 23.
SOTO
Jessica L., 30, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, Jan. 23.
ALFARO
Cindy L., 61, St. John, El Dorado, Jan. 25.
CAMPBELL
Douglas C., 33, Holy Savior, Wichita, Jan. 25.
MILLER
Dolores Louise, 89, St. Martin, Piqua, Jan. 25.
NEWELL
Louise Lowella, 83, St. Mary, Derby, Jan. 25.
BLANCHARD
Alesia Diane, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Jan. 26.
FORBES
Carolyn Kay, 78, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Jan. 26.
FORD
Janet K., 59, St. Leo, St. Leo, Jan. 26.
GIRRENS
Leon Francis, 90, St. Cecilia, Haysville, Jan. 27.
ALLEN
John Paul, 72, St. Mary, Derby, Jan. 28.
CAMACHO
Gerald Lopez, 94, St. Cecilia, Haysville, Jan. 28.
HALFMANN
Clarence Dale, 82, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Jan. 28.
HIRSCHLER
Danny “Dan,” 78, St. Catherine of Siena, Wichita, Jan. 28.
HOFER
Francis William “Bill,” 89, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Jan. 28.
SIGWING
Mary Ruth (Courtney), 81, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Jan. 28.
BUSSE
Roma (Caruso), 87, St. John, El Dorado, Jan. 29.
MARTIN
Mary Jean, 86, St. Patrick, Parsons, Jan. 29.
VOGEL
Phyllis J., 85, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Jan. 29.
McLESKEY
Edith May, 80, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, Jan. 30.
EVANS
Gary Wayne, 79, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Jan. 31.
MEIROSWSKY
John E., 82, St. Mary, Newton, Feb. 1.
RIDDEL
Florence Marie, 98, St. Patrick, Wichita, Feb. 1.
WELLS
Joanne Marie (Youngers), 85, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Feb. 1.
WEST
Ann (Dunmire) “Margie,” 53, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hutchinson, Feb. 2.
DUONG
Lac Thi, 99, St. Joseph, Wichita, Feb. 3.
RAISTIN
Mildred L., St. Jude, Wichita, Feb. 4.
REDINGER
Joan, 67, Sacred Heart, Halstead, Feb 4.
SAIZ
Charyl L, 69, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, Feb. 4.
SACK
Eizabeth J. “Betty,” 91, St. Patrick, Wichita, Feb. 6.
STEVEN
Richard, Jr., “Rick,” 62, St. Mary, Derby, Feb. 6.
BRACK
Orville Louis, 87, St. Patrick, Harper, Feb. 8.
JIRGENS
Andrejs Talivaldis “Andy,” 72, St. Joseph, Yates Center, Feb. 9.
SIMON
Christopher J., 30, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Feb. 9.
WISE
Patsy A., 77, Church of the Resurrection, Wichita, Feb. 9.
LOOMIS
Tyler Loyd, 25, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Feb. 10.
McCALL
Laurene Eva (Poelma), 95, St. Anne, Wichita, Feb. 10.
ROBERTS
Carter John, 7, St. Mary, Derby, Feb. 11.
HYATT
Angelina Ernestine, 76, St. Anthony-St. Rose, Wellington, Feb. 12.
SWEET
Eileen K., 94, Christ the King, Wichita, Feb. 12.
LUBBERS
Reynolds F. “Butch,” St. Patrick, Kingman, Feb. 13.
TERNES
Doris Emelia (Dugan), 87, Christ the King, Wichita, Feb. 13.
TOON
Ted J., 83, St. Peter, Schulte, Feb. 13.
FLAHERTY
Martha (May), 87, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Feb. 14.
MAHONEY
Juanita Ann (Devore), 89, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, Feb. 14.
MINNIS
LaVaughn, 91, Holy Savior, Wichita, Feb. 14.
REALS
John F., Jr., 37, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, Feb. 14.
WENDLING
Eugene, 98, Sacred Heart, Halstead, Feb. 14.
GRABER
Rebecca Catherine, 91, Holy Savior, Wichita, Feb. 15.
HUTHCRAFT
Philip M., 92, St. Joseph, Arma, Feb. 15.
MERTENS
Theodore E. “Ted,” 69, All Saints, Wichita, Feb. 15.
WEDMAN
John J., 79, St. Martin, Caldwell, Feb. 15.
CLAEYS
Bryan Seth, 29, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Feb. 16.
DATU
Dioncio Liscano, 84, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Feb. 16.
FULLER
Allen C., 71, Sacred Heart, Arkansas City, Feb. 17.
KNAUP
Joann, 87, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, Feb. 17.
ZIEGLER
Tamara Eileen “Tammy,” 53, St. Patrick, Kingman, Feb. 17.
WHITEHAIR
Mary Jane, 65, St. Mary, Derby, Feb. 18.
PEAK
Howard E., 87, St. Michael, Girard, Feb. 20.

Services for Father Tom Scaletty held Monday

Father Thomas F. Scaletty, 82, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita for 54 years, died Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the Kansas Heart Hospital in Wichita. He was a resident of Humboldt, in Southeast Kansas, where he had lived since his retirement in 2007.
A rosary vigil was prayed Sunday, Feb. 11, and a Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Monday, Feb. 12, at St. Patrick Church in Parsons. Bishop Carl A. Kemme was the principal celebrant. Father was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Parsons.
Father Scaletty was born on Jan. 27, 1936, in Parsons. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School and graduated from Parsons High School. He then graduated from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he attended on a golf and basketball scholarship. He then enrolled at Conception Seminary College in Conception, Missouri.
He was ordained on May 25, 1963, in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.
Father Scaletty, known as a “priest’s priest,” served in a wide variety of appointments in his active service for the diocese. He was parochial vicar at St. Teresa Parish in Hutchinson, where he also taught at the high school; and served St. Patrick Parish in Chanute; and Holy Savior Parish, the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Christ the King Parish, and All Saints Parish, all in Wichita.
He worked in the Chancery as director of the Office of Missions, later as assistant chancellor, and then as moderator of the Respect Life Office.
He was an instrumental leader in the pro-life movement. During the 1991 Summer of Mercy pro-life protest in Wichita, Fr. Scaletty was arrested, along with several other priests and many laity, outside of an abortion clinic.
He taught at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School and served as pastor of Church of the Resurrection Parish in Wichita; St. Jude Parish in Wichita; St. Patrick Parish in Chanute; and St. Joseph Parish in Humboldt. He also served as administrator of St. Francis Parish in St. Paul and St. Ambrose Parish in Erie.
Father Scaletty, often accompanied by his beloved pet Boxer dogs, was a superior golf player and won many tournaments.

Obituaries, February 2, 2018

HARTMAN-BRODERICK
Joyce Ann, 84, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, Nov. 20.
FOSTER
Sonya L. (Klingsporn), 50, St. Anne, Wichita, Jan. 7.
HENDERSON
Doris J., 78, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Jan. 7.
SELLERS
Rosalind, 97, Holy Savior, Wichita, Jan. 8.
CAMPBELL
Samuel Eugene, 84, St. Peter, Schulte, Jan. 9.
KROUPA
Mary Lou, 87, St. John Nepomucene, Pilsen, Jan. 10.
TANNER
Robert Ray, 41, St. Margaret Mary, Wichita, Jan. 10.
EVANS
John Richard, 65, Church of the Magdalen, Wichita, Jan. 11.
DEBBRECHT
Margaret Verena (Wegerer), 97, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, Jan. 12.
ERKER
Gary Allen, 66, St. Jude, Wichita, Jan. 12.
KASTENS
Dr. James L., 84, Church of the Resurrection, Wichita, Jan. 12.
WILLIAMS
Mary Jean (Walker), 78, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Jan. 12.
ECKERMAN
Douglas Keith Patrick, 63, St. Cecilia, Haysville, Jan. 13.
GUGLETA
Stephen L., 93, Church of the Resurrection, Wichita, Jan. 13.
LAMPE
Ruth Frances (Koester), 90, St. Martin, Piqua, Jan. 13.
SCHOECH
Elizabeth (Corley) “Betty,” 79, Mother of God, Oswego, Jan. 13.
TROWBRIDGE
Bernice Marie, 85, St. John, Iola, Jan. 13.
WESTHOFF
Eric Michael, 52, St. Francis, St. Paul, Jan. 13.
BOYD
David Lee, 71, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, Jan. 14.
DIAZ-GALVAN
Margarita, 100, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Wichita, Jan. 14.
O’CONNELL
Phyllis Mardelle, 84, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, Jan. 14.
ALBERS
Delores, 91, St. Leo, St. Leo, Jan. 15.
McFARLANE
Walter James “Jim,” 80, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Jan. 15.
ROE
Phyllis Christine (Clancy), 86, Holy Spirit, Goddard, Jan. 15.
ALBERT
Raymond D., 73, St. Joseph, Ost, Jan. 16.
TILLEMANS
Dennis Lee, 61, St. Michael, Mulvane, Jan. 16.
BRANDEWIEDE
Pearl Delores, 86, St. Mary, Newton, Jan. 17.
ZARNOWSKI
Susan Paule, 49, Sacred Heart, Halstead, Jan. 17.
DANEK
Martha K. (Sterbenz), 103, All Saints, Wichita, Jan. 19.
SCHIPPERS
Elmer Carl, 80, St. Jude, Wichita, Jan. 19.
SCHMITZ
Francis Jerome, 92, Holy Cross, Hutchinson, Jan. 19.
NOEL
Aubrey Lynn, 17 months, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, Jan. 20.
ORR
Marianne, 81, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Jan. 20.
SAENZ
Sarah, 99, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Jan. 20.
MORA
Carlos “Jeep,” 88, All Saints, Wichita, Jan. 21.
PIPER
Agnes Helen, 76, St. Jude, Wichita, Jan. 21.
SCHMEIDLER
Joan L., 86, St. Margaret Mary, Wichita, Jan. 21.
MADL
John Robert, 68, Walnut, Jan. 22.
MICHAEL
Robert “Bobby,” 55, St. Michael, Girard, Jan. 22.
WADE
Pat, 86, St. Patrick, Wichita, Jan. 22.
KOCH
Elaine M., 80, Wichita, Jan. 23.
MERRELL
Mary Jo, 78, Sacred Heart, Anthony, Jan. 23.
WINTERS
Theresa Marie, 95, St. Jude, Wichita, Jan. 23.

Fr. James Spexarth dies Jan. 8

Father James Spexarth, a priest of the Diocese of Wichita for 62 years, died at Midland Hospice in Topeka Monday, Jan. 8, at age 88.
Father James was the great-uncle of Fr. Aaron Spexarth and the uncle of Fr. Dan Spexarth.
Private funeral services are being held by the family.
Father James Spexarth was born on Feb. 17, 1929, in Colwich to Ben J. and Katie (Doffing) Spexarth. He was one of 10 children. At age 12 he began studying at St. Meinrad Archabbey in St. Meinrad, Indiana, and was ordained on May 3, 1955, by Bishop Mark K. Carroll at Sacred Heart Church in Colwich.
Soon after his first assignment as an assistant pastor at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Wichita, he began studies at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He was awarded a doctorate in canon law from C.U. on June 2, 1959.
After his studies, he was named vice-chancellor of the diocese and part-time assistant at Blessed Sacrament. He later served as an assistant at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Thomas Aquinas before being named pastor in 1966 of St. Joseph Parish in Arma, with a mission at St. Gabriel in Mulberry.
Father Spexarth was named pastor of St. Mary Parish in Parsons in 1968, pastor of St. Leo in St. Leo in 1973, and chaplain pro team of Mt. St. Mary’s Convent in 1984. Later that year he became pastor of St. Patrick in Florence and Immaculate Conception in Burns. He retired in 1991.
Father Spexarth is survived by his brothers Ralph, Leo and Paul, all of Colwich; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, thee brothers and three sisters.

Sr. Mary Johnellen Garrity dies Jan. 8

Sister Mary Johnellen Garrity, who taught at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in Wichita from 1981 to 1994, died Monday, Jan. 8, in Dubuque, Iowa. She was a member of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary for 72 years.
She also taught in secondary schools in Dubuque and Chicago, and elementary schools in Chicago and in Hempstead and Bellerose, N.Y.
Sister Mary Johnellen was born in Chicago on Jan. 11, 1927, to John Joseph and Mary Ellen Lonergan Garrity. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1945, from St. Andrew Parish in Chicago. She professed first vows on March 19, 1948, and final vows on Aug. 15, 1953.
Memorials may be given to the Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, Iowa 52003, or online at https://www.bvmcong.org/support_donate.cfm.

Obituaries, January 19, 2018

BUSSE
John, 71, St. Patrick, Chanute, Nov. 10.
LONG
Lonnie Dale, 57, St. Jude, Wichita, Dec. 17.
PALACIOZ
Johnny Raymond, Sr., 68, Holy Savior, Wichita, Dec. 17.
ROHLMAN
Linda Jean (Simon), 56, St. Joseph, Andale, Dec. 19.
MARTIN
Enriquez, 81, All Saints, Wichita, Dec. 20.
MASCORRO
Armando, 91, Church of the Resurrection, Wichita, Dec. 20.
SMITH
Marcus E., Jr., “Mark,” 69, St. Joseph, Andale, Dec. 21.
TAPIA
March Anthony “Coco,” 53, Holy Name, Winfield, Dec. 21.
BENHAM
Tim L., 88, St. Joseph, Wichita, Dec. 22.
MATHEWS
Florence “Polly,” 95, Holy Name, Winfield, Dec. 22.
McGUIGAN
Madge (Coggins), 86, Sacred Heart, Arkansas City, Dec. 22.
OSNER
Leonard M., 58, Sacred Heart, Cunningham, Dec. 22.
STRUMFA
Ruth C., 93, St. John, El Dorado, Dec. 22.
RAMIREZ
Eusebio L. “Sammy,” 96, St. Patrick, Parsons, Dec. 23.
DUIVENVOODEN
Mary Helen, 79, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Dec. 24.
KLEIN
Ruth D., 62, St. Patrick, Parsons, Dec. 24.
HOSKINSON
Estelle, 90, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hutchinson, Dec. 25.
ZIMMERMAN
Donald L. “Donnie,” 63, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Dec. 26.
KARLIN
James Francis, 81, St. Anthony/St. Rose, Wellington, Dec. 27.
ALBARRACIN
Dr. Alan, M.D., 69, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Dec. 28.
NOYES
Marc “Bear,” 59, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Dec. 28.
PEREZ
Robert “Bob,” 96, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Dec. 28.
LEDESMA
Salvador R., 70, St. Patrick, Wichita, Dec. 29.
RADEMACHER
Mary Jane (Liethen), 74, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Dec. 29.
VOEGELI
John, Jr., 94, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Dec. 29.
WALTERSCHEID
Robert Eric “Catfish,” 61, St. Anthony, Wichita, Dec. 29.
CAO
Catherine Nhiem Thi, 92, St. Anthony, Wichita, Dec. 30.
LIES
Marie Magdalen, 97, St. Joseph, Andale, Dec. 30.
LOURIS
Mary Ellen, 95, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Dec. 30.
WALLENTINE
Lorrie, 58, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Wichita, Dec. 30.
WEBB
Joann Ellen East, 80, St. Anne, Wichita, Dec. 31.
CARSON
John Joseph “Joe,” 93, St. Patrick, Parsons, Jan. 2.
HORSCH
Mathew John “Bud,” 95, St. Patrick, Wichita, Jan. 2.
PAYNE
Virginia L., 87, St. Mary, Newton, Jan. 2.
LANDER
Judy K., 61, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Jan. 3.
DEITER
Norman, 84, St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, Jan. 4.
ORTIZ
Erlinda Mora, 93, All Saints, Wichita, Jan. 4.
VILLAR
Mary T., 84, St. Joseph, Wichita, Jan. 4.
GODFREY
John William, 82, St. Paul, Lyons, Jan. 5.
JOHNSON
William, Sr., “Bill,” 77, St. Vincent de Paul, Andover, Jan. 5.
JOY
Bessie Jane, 92, St. Mary, Newton, Jan. 5.
HEIMAN
Cleora A., 76, All Saints, Wichita, Jan. 6.
NEWTON-REID
Sharon J., 79, St. Mary, Newton, Jan. 6.
GORGES
Richard Allen “Dick,” 71, Sacred Heart, Colwich, Jan. 7.
JIMENEZ
Cecilia M., 60, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Jan. 7.
KEISER
Theresa, 72, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Jan. 7.
QUIER
Adele Vodicka, 93, Sacred Heart, Frontenac, Jan. 7.
URBANEK
Norma R., 91, St. Joseph, McPherson, Jan. 7.
KOENIGS
Jo Ann Loretta (Winter), 85, Holy Spirit, Goddard, Jan. 8.
MARTINEZ
Margaret, 92, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Wichita, Jan. 8.
SHERIDAN
Thomas A., 70, St. Joseph, McPherson, Jan. 8.
SILHAN
Cheryl Kay, 47, St. John Nepomucene, Pilsen, Jan. 8.
JUAREZ
Angel J., 90, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton, Jan. 9.
MANS
Anthony Frederick “Tony,” 87, St. Teresa, Hutchinson, Jan. 9.
MENDOZA
Victoria, 52, St. Catherine of Siena, Wichita, Jan. 9.
SEIWERT
Delia Ruth (VanLeeuwen) “Dee,” 93, St. Francis, St. Paul, Jan. 9.
WEBER
Pauline Eva, 89, St. Mark, St. Mark, Jan. 9.

Sister Helen Ridder dies Dec. 22 at 82

Sister Helen Ridder, an Adorer of the Blood of Christ for 64 years, died Friday, Dec. 22. She was 82.
A Mass of Resurrection was celebrated Wednesday, Dec. 27, in the Chapel of the New Covenant with Fr. Tom Welk presiding. Burial in the community cemetery followed.
She was born July 20, 1935, in Derby, to John and Agnes (Abt) Ridder, the fifth of eight children.
Sister Helen entered the Wichita ASC community on Jan. 1, 1952, pronounced first vows on July 1, 1953, and permanent vows on July 1, 1958.
She graduated from high school at Sacred Heart Academy in 1954 and earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Sacred Heart College in 1962. She graduated from Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia in 1971, with a master’s degree in education. For 21 years, she taught primary students, mostly in Kansas.
Sister did pastoral ministry for 11 years in Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, and Texas, where she served rural areas in the Diocese of El Paso.
She spent a summer in Guatemala while the recently beatified Father Stan Rother was there.
In 1989, she was certified for family counseling and drug/alcohol rehabilitation and ministered in the Wichita Acuto Spirituality Center for seven years.
Sister Helen worked at the environmental advocacy and education center, EarthWorks in Plymouth, Indiana, for three years.
In 2000, she worked for the Land Institute of Salina, Kansas, that studies and shares alternative agriculture methods. She also enjoyed music, arts and reading.
Sister Helen returned to the ASC Wichita Center in 2005, retired there in 2013 and moved into Caritas Center in 2016.
She is survived by her brother Jerome, nieces, nephews, cousins, and her ASC community members.
Memorials in her name may be made online at adorers.org or by mailing them to the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, U.S. Region Mission Center, 4233 Sulphur Ave., St. Louis, MO 63109

Obituaries, January 5, 2018

BOARDMAN
Robert Duane, 55, Church of the Magdalen, Wichita, Oct. 31.
ADAMS
William O. “Bill,” 74, Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hutchinson, Dec. 4.
HUTTON
Judith Lynne, 55, St. Paul, Lyons, Dec. 5.
CATES
Robert “Bob,” 59, St. Peter, Schulte, Dec. 7.
WEBER
Lawrence A., 81, St. Mary, Aleppo, Dec. 7.
DICK
Paul C., 85, St. John, Zenda, Dec. 8.
KILLMAN
Brian P., 40, St. Mary, Newton, Dec. 9.
KLENDA
Bernice Leona (Kerschen), 90, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, Dec. 9.
BUTTERFIELD
Catherine D. “Cathy,” 49, St. Patrick, Wichita, Dec. 10.
SKLOICH
Glen P., 83, Blessed Sacrament, Wichita, Dec. 10.
DYE
John, 81, St. Mary, Derby, Dec. 10.
AKERS
Kitty A., 68, St. Patrick, Wichita, Dec. 11.
BARTHOLOMEW
Elizabeth June “Betty,” 88, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Dec. 11.
LEITNER
Harold “Gene,” 91, Catholic Care Center, Wichita, Dec. 11.
MARTIN
Rosemary B. (Cordell), 81, St. Mark, St. Mark, Dec. 11.
CHURCH
Nicole Lynn, 27, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Dec. 14.
LEEKER
Robert Dean, 68, St. James, Augusta, Dec. 15.
DOSS
Joseph John, 94, St. Anthony, Garden Plain, Dec. 16.
FLUSCHE
Kitty, 90, St. Cecilia, Haysville, Dec. 16.
HANNA
Edward L., 95, St. Patrick, Wichita, Dec. 16.
RENTERIA
Bertha I., 85, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Wichita, Dec. 16.
DeTHAMPLE
Kent P., 61, Church of the Magdalen, Wichita, Dec. 17.
SCHMITT
Elizabeth J. “Betty,”, 88, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Dec. 18.
KELLER
Debra Kay (Rink), 64, Our Lady of Lourdes, Pittsburg, Dec. 19.
LOPEZ
Trenton M. “Bubba,” 20, St. Francis of Assisi, Wichita, Dec. 19.
VEITH
L. Darlene, 93, Christ the King, Wichita, Dec. 19.
EHERT
David Wayne, 63, St. Joseph, Andale, Dec. 20.

Fr. O’Shea’s wit never dwindled

Funeral Mass for Father Sean was Friday, Dec. 1, at the Cathedral
Father Sean O’Shea kept his Irish wit about him – even as death neared.
After asking Father John Sherlock to deliver the homily at his funeral, he said, “Keep it short – but not too short!”
Father Sherlock then asked him what he wanted him to preach about. “I don’t know,” Father O’Shea replied. “I won’t be there. What’s more, that’s your job!”
Father Sherlock, a retired priest of the Diocese of Wichita, fulfilled Father O’Shea’s request Friday, Dec. 1, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita, after Fr. O’Shea’s death Monday, Nov. 27.
Speaking to a full church that included several nieces and nephews from Ireland, Father Sherlock talked about the long trip to America Father O’Shea made aboard the RMS Mauritania after his ordination in 1950. Before he left, he said, the farewells included the equivalent to an Irish wake, where amid food and drink, good-byes were given with the understanding that they may never meet again.
“Once here, he undertook his commitment to be part of Christ’s mission: to live with him and die with him,” Fr. Sherlock said. “Fr. Sean’s life was enhanced by the priestly ministry. He flourished as he acted ‘in persona Christi.’”
He said the Irish priest’s journey began on the Emerald Isle and ended in Wichita. “He has run the race, he has persevered and now he awaits the ultimate reward to live with the Supreme High Priest in Heaven.”
The rebellious spirit he brought with him from County Cork, the “rebel county,” Father Sherlock said, served him in answering the needs of his parishioners for 67 years. “He was always remembering the purpose of his priesthood, the salvation of souls. This was paramount in his thinking.”
His dedication to the Catholics of the diocese continued after his retirement, he said.
“He showed his priestly and caring heart as he frequently visited the sick at the Catholic Care Center and substituted in parishes. When it was his turn to be on the receiving end, the staff at the Catholic Care Center returned the favor while looking after and caring for him affectionate and lovingly.”
Father Sherlock closed his homily by saying, “Adios!…Father Sean go with God,” and in Gaelic added, “‘Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam,’ (may he sit at the right hand of God).”
John J. O’Shea was born on Nov. 25, 1924, at Ballyknockin Maurne Abbey in County Cork and studied for the priesthood at St. Patrick College in Carlow, Ireland. He was ordained there on June 4, 1950.
About six months later Father O’Shea was appointed chaplain of Mercy Hospital in Fort Scott. In 1954 he was named pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Little River. That was followed by pastoral appointments at Sacred Heart in Halstead in 1960; St. Patrick, Kingman, 1967; Holy Cross, Hutchinson, 1973; and St. Thomas Aquinas, Wichita, 1985. He retired on Jan. 28, 1999.
Father O’Shea’s interment was in Ascension Cemetery in Wichita.