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Fr. William B. Gubbins

Pastor emeritus

Father William B. Gubbins, 92, died March 14. He was pastor emeritus of St. John Berchmans Parish.

Born in Chicago, Father Gubbins attended St. Philip Neri School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary before being ordained in 1955.

Father Gubbins’ first assignment was as assistant pastor at Holy Name Cathedral for nine years before serving in the same role at Our Lady of Knock, Calumet City; St. Nicholas, Evanston; and St. Sylvester. He was associate pastor of Our Lady of Mercy; Divine Providence, Westchester; and St. Aloysius.

After a five-month stay in Israel to study Scripture, Father Gubbins became pastor at Queen of Martyrs Parish, Evergreen Park. In 1992, he became pastor at St. John Berchmans, where he served until 1999. He received the title of pastor emeritus when he retired.

Father William Corcoran, pastor of St. Elizabeth Seton Parish in Orland Hills, lived at the parish with Father Gubbins for about eight years.

“He was 92 going on 60,” said Corcoran, who remembered his friend as thriving and being mentally sharp in his final years. Even after retirement, Father Gubbins heard confessions, celebrated Masses, and facilitated Bible studies, Corcoran added. “He was incredibly kind, a good listener and always serving people.”

Deacon Richard Flam

Class of 1996

Deacon Richard Flam, 87, died Dec. 4 in San Antonio. He was ordained in 1996 and served at St. Marcelline, Schaumburg.

Born in Chicago, Deacon Flam worked in computer systems for 43 years. He loved the Cubs and playing golf, and collecting and building model cars and airplanes. After retirement he moved to Tucson, Arizona, and volunteered for many years at the Pima Air and Space Museum.

Deacon Flam was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth, who died Dec. 1. He is survived by his children Julie Copeland, Christine Ballo and Mary Knox; and two grandchildren.

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Deacon R. Michael Ruffner

Class of 1992

Deacon R. Michael Ruffner, 80, died March 15 in Florida. He was ordained in 1992 and served at Immaculate Conception (North Park Avenue) and at Mary,  Seat of Wisdom Parish in Park Ridge.

Deacon Ruffner grew up in Chicago and attended Lakeview High School. He married his high school sweetheart, Sue Walker, and they had three children before his wife died at the age of 23. In 1977, he met his wife Jan through Naim, a group for widows and widowers, and they married in 1978, bringing together his three children and Jan’s son Edward in one family.

Deacon Ruffner worked briefly for Illinois Bell and then American Can Co., before starting his own business, Can Serv, in which he was active even after formally retiring to Florida in 2004.

While in Florida, he continued his diaconate ministry in the Diocese of St. Petersburg.

Deacon Ruffner is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jan; his children Susan, Sean and Mike; and nine grandchildren. His son Edward predeceased him.

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Fr. John T. Richardson

DePaul University president, chancellor

Vincentian Father John T. Richardson, 98, died March 29 in Missouri.

Father Richardson served as president of DePaul University from 1981 to 1993, leading a major expansion of the institution, and he was chancellor from 1993 to 2017.

“Father Richardson’s leadership of DePaul resulted in growing our national reputation, while expanding our engagement in the city of Chicago and deepening our commitment to the university’s Catholic, Vincentian, and urban mission,” DePaul President A. Gabriel Esteban said. “He was a visionary leader, whose impact on our university will endure, and he will be missed by all in the DePaul family.”

He joined the university in 1954 as dean of the graduate school, and from 1955 to 1970, he taught in the law school, teaching dozens of future Cook County judges and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.

Father Richardson’s presidency marked a period of intense growth of DePaul’s community involvement in Lincoln Park, the Loop and all of Chicago. Hallmarks of his time with the university include increasing DePaul’s appeal to students across the country, strengthening the university’s Vincentian commitment to its urban community and developing the diversity of DePaul’s faculty, staff and student body.

In 1997, he went to Kenya to teach in the Vincentian seminary there, returning to DePaul in 2010.

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Sr. Johanna Marie Shainauskas


Sister of St. Casimir Johanna Marie Shainauskas, 88, died Feb. 13 in Lemont.

Born in Chicago, Sister Johanna Marie made her first profession of vows in 1952 and her perpetual vows in 1957.

She ministered in California, Pennsylvania and Illinois as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and director of student services.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Johanna Marie taught at All Saints (1952-1954); St. Bartholomew, Waukegan (1954-1956); St. Norbert, Northbrook (1959-1963); Immaculate Conception (44th Street) (1963-1964); Nativity BVM (1964-1965); and Providence of God (1971-1976), where she served as principal from 1976 to 1977.

She was a receptionist at Holy Cross Hospital while teaching music at Immaculate Conception from 1988 to 1989. At Maria High School, she taught Spanish and served as director of student services (1990-1999).

After she retired from education, Sister Johanna Marie served as secretary and receptionist at Nativity BVM Parish.

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Sr. Patricia Erickson

Educator, nurse

Adrian Dominican Sister Patricia Laverne (Michael Dominic) Erickson, 79, died Feb. 14 in Adrian, Michigan.

Born in Wisconsin, she was in the 61st year of her religious life. Sister Patricia ministered in education and as a nurse, and in service to her congregation. She served in Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Alabama, Texas, California, Florida, and Puerto Rico, and in Nicaragua, the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, she taught at St. Denis (1961-1965), St. Rita (1967-1969) and Our Lady of Loretto, Hometown (1970-1972) and was a nursing assistant at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Evergreen Park (1972-1973).

Sister Patricia Laverne became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in 2021.

She is survived by her sister, Nancy Revell, and her brother, Michael Erickson.

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Sr. Monice Kavanaugh

Director of diaconate program

Sinsinawa Dominican Sister Monice Kavanaugh, 83, died March 16 in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.

Born in Chicago, Sister Monice attended several Catholic elementary schools, including St. Simon; St. Brendan; Little Flower; St. Leo; and Ascension, Oak Park; before attending Trinity High School, River Forest.

She made her first religious profession in 1958 and her perpetual profession Aug. 5, 1961. She was a teacher, served her congregation, and was a pastoral minister and director of the diaconate formation program for the Archdiocese of Chicago. She served in Wisconsin, New York and Illinois.

In the Archdiocese of Chicago, Sister Monice taught at Queen of Peace, Burbank (1966-1976), where she also served as the chair of the Christian Living Department. She was a pastoral associate at St. Fabian, Bridgeview (1976-1984), and at Immaculate Conception Parish (1991-1999), and was the director of formation for the permanent diaconate formation program for the archdiocese (1984-1991).

Sister Monice served as a member of the Resources for Mission Team for the Sinsinawa Dominican Congregation while living in Chicago (2011-2017) and ministered with the House of Connections and the Learning Center in Chicago (1999-2014), providing adult education and literacy programs and serving the center as executive director, employment counselor and program director.