I grew up the oldest of 10 children on a farm in northern Iowa. My father was very frail so, from the age of 8, I did most of the field work.
I attended St. John's Catholic grade and high school and learned from the good Franciscan Sisters.
After graduation in 1955, I served in the US Army, fulfilling the required 6 year military obligation which included 2 and 1/z years of overseas duty.
About 2 years after military service I married Judi and settled in Omaha, Nebraska. We had five children who have all attended Catholic grade and high school. They have all gone on to have double college degrees and doing well in life.
I worked as an auto mechanic for 38 years in Chevrolet dealerships.
I had been very active in St. Bernard parish, serving as Scout leader 19 yrs, managed a weekly bingo game 14 years, and serving on the Parish Council for12 years.
My life drastically changed when Judi rather suddenly died of cancer at age 47. The children were either in college or out on their own. I was suddenly living alone.
A year later I attended a Beginning Experience retreat weekend for widowed and divorced designed to understand and work through the grieving process. This weekend made a huge difference in my attitude and understanding of closure to the lost relationship. I was invited to join the team to facilitate small groups and pass the program on to others. I worked in this ministry for the next 7 years, then married Charlene who was also part of the Beginning Experience ministry.
Shortly after marriage we were asked to be Lector and EME. Parishioners and Pastor then insisted that I begin Diaconate Formation. I began that program doubting my worthiness. I retired from work when I turned 62 and was ordained Permanent Deacon one week later on October 30 1999 in the Archdiocese of Omaha.
While with the Beginning Experience ministry I assisted the divorced with their writing of annulment narratives. Later on I attended additional classes on Canon Law and am certified to serve as Procurator, Advocate or Judge in marriage annulment cases.
I also concentrate on Homebound ministry and Marriage Preparation along with usual diaconal duties of San Felipe de Neri parish.
Although I am now well past retirement age, I believe I am in good health and effective in what I do for the Catholic Church. It is amazing where God has lead me in life.