Sr. Irma Dreger


Sister of Christian Charity Irma (Catherine) Dreger, 97, died May 19 at Sacred Heart Convent, Wilmette.

Born in Chicago, she entered the postulancy in 1933, and was received into the novitiate the next year. She made her perpetual profession of vows in 1942. She taught elementary and high school in Michigan, Louisiana, Minnesota and Iowa in addition to Illinois. In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Aloysius (1955-1956) and St. Gregory (1957- 1958, 1965-1969. She served as secretary (1969-1971) and teacher (1973-1974) at Josephinum, substitute superior and principal at St. Alphonsus, Prospect Heights (1971); worked in public relations at Mallinckrodt College (1971-1973). She moved to the motherhouse in Wilmette and continued to teach English at Mallinckrodt College, do community research and serve as annalist and telephone receptionist.

In 1999, Sister Irma returned to the Josephinum where she tutored in the SCC Literacy Program for the next six years. The year 2005, she moved to Sacred Heart Convent, where she continued to translate German obituary letters and wrote obituary letters for the Western Province. In 2006 she accepted the invitation to become assistant editor of the SVD Missionary Magazine, Divine Word.

Deacon John Ficker

Class of 1994

Deacon John Ficker, 86, died May 29. He was ordained in 1994 and served at St. George, Tinley Park.

Deacon Ficker was a member of one of the founding families of St. George and lived in the parish his whole life. He met his wife Alice at the church. The couple married in 1952.

As a young man, Deacon Ficker worked as a milkman for Vogt’s General Store. He was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps and served in the Korean War.

He and his wife prepared couples for marriage. As a deacon, he officiated at 50 weddings and baptized 500 babies, but he will be most remembered in the parish for the time he spent visiting the sick and taking the Eucharist to them in the hospital.

He is survived by his wife, his children John, Cathy, Larry, Barbara, Michael , Cindy and Daniel; 14 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Deacon Philip Ontiveros

Class of 1993

Deacon Philip Ontiveros, 70, died June 3. He was ordained in 1993 and served at St. Julian Eymard, Elk Grove Village, and St. Marcelline, Schaumburg.

Deacon Ontiveros served as a medic in Vietnam and received a Purple Heart.

He worked for 26 years as a driver for UPS. At one time, his route included the archdiocese’s diaconate office in Forest Park.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn and his siblings Catherine and Daniel.

Fr. Robert Behnke

Former Pastor

Father Robert Behnke, 69, died June 4 at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Evergreen Park. He was a resident of St. Bede the Venerable Parish and former pastor of St. Barbara Parish.

Born in Chicago, Father Behnke attended St. Priscilla and St. Francis Borgia schools and Quigley Preparatory Seminary. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Niles College of Loyola University, and graduated from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1973.

He served as associate pastor at St. Therese of the Infant Jesus (1973-1978); St. Mary Magdalene (1978- 1980); Queen of Martyrs, Evergreen Park (2000); and St. Thomas More (2000-2002). In 1980, Father Behnke was named administrator of Assumption BVM and served in that capacity until 1983, when he was named pastor. The parish eventually merged with St. Catherine of Genoa and Father Behnke remained there until 2000. During his time at Assumption BVM, he was administrator of SS. Peter and Paul Parish for almost three years. Father Behnke then served as pastor of St. Barbara (Throop Street) (2002-2006). From 2006 to 2016, Father Behnke was a resident of St. Thomas More and St. Bede the Venerable parishes.

Father Behnke is survived by a brother, David.

Fr. Philip Dressler

Pastor Emeritus

Father Philip Dressler, 80, died May 26 at St. Juliana Parish Rectory, where he was a resident and pastor emeritus.

Born in Chicago, Father Dressler attended St. Andrew School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1961.

Father Phil, as he was commonly called, was assistant pastor at St. Ita (1961-1965) and St. Anne, Barrington (1965-1972). He was pastor of Immaculate Conception (North Park Ave.) (1979-1985), Queen of Angels (1985-1995) and St. Juliana Parish (1995- 2005).

He also was administrator of St. Anne (1971); Our Lady Help of Christians (1974); St. Juliana (2005); Queen of the Rosary, Elk Grove Village (2007); and St. Mary of Perpetual Help (2008).

Father Dressler is survived by a brother, Joseph Dressler.