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Fr. Francis G. Scanlan

Retired Army chaplain, associate pastor

Father Francis G. Scanlan, 87, died Oct. 19. He was a former associate pastor of St. Damian Parish, Oak Forest, and a retired lieutenant colonel and Army chaplain of the Illinois National Guard.

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

He was assistant pastor of St. Eugene, St. Mel-Holy Ghost and Incarnation, Palos Heights. He was associate pastor of St. Andrew and St. Bede the Venerable, and retired as associate pastor of St. Damian in 2005. Father Scanlan also served as a U.S. Army chaplain for the Illinois National Guard for nearly 30 years, from 1966 to 1995.

Frieda Bertello, director of the Healing Ministry at St. Damian Parish, knew Father Scanlan since he started at St. Damian.

“He was able to relate to any age group, probably because of his wisdom and experience and his ability to be young in spirit,” Bertello said. “His homilies were brief, but always on point, and he usually squeezed in a humorous line or two. The parishioners loved it.”

Bertello added, “Father Jerry treated everyone with kindness and respect, and you usually left with a joke or a laugh. We expect there will be more laughter in heaven now that he’s home with the Lord.”

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Deacon James O’Malley

Class of 1974

Deacon James O’Malley, 95, died Sept. 9. He was ordained in 1974 and served at the O’Hare Airport Interfaith Chapel.

Deacon O’Malley was a World War II veteran who served in Germany, and later worked for Culligan International as a chemist, lab manager and marketing specialist.

After being ordained, he served at his home parish, St. Mary, Des Plaines. He became associate chaplain at the O’Hare Interfaith Chapel in 1986.

He retired from active ministry in 2017.

His wife, Rita Ann, died in 2010. He is survived by his children Thomas O’Malley, James O’Malley Jr., Margaret Jean Wolski, Christine Ann Groves and Erin Lynn Johnson; 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Dominican Father Jack O’Malley.

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Deacon Irwin Hotcaveg

Class of 1988

Deacon Irwin E. Hotcaveg, 96, died Oct. 24. He was ordained in 1988 and served at St. Ferdinand Parish until his retirement in 2014.

Deacon Hotcaveg was a U.S. Army World War II veteran.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Lou; his children Cindy, Judi and Susan; one grandchild and two great-grandchildren.

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Fr. John Eck

Educator, parish priest

Viatorian Father John E. Eck, 85, died Oct. 4 at Addolorata Villa in Wheeling.

Born in Springfield, Illinois, Father Eck professed his first vows in 1955 and was ordained in Chicago on June 8, 1963.

He was a high school teacher in Peoria before entering the Viatorian Seminary. After being ordained, he taught at St. Viator High School, Arlington Heights (1963-1966). He also taught in Rock Island before serving as director of affiliates and novice master for the province. He then taught at Prologue High School, Chicago (1983-1990).

He served as a parochial vicar (1999-2005) and pastor (2005-2009) of St. Viator Parish.

He retired in 2009 to Kankakee and returned to the Viatorian Province Center retirement residence in Arlington Heights in 2016.

He is survived by his sister, Patricia Precht, and his brothers, Donald and Richard Eck.

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Sr. Rita Stalzer

Educator, librarian

Sister of St. Joseph Sister Rita Stalzer, 98, died Oct. 4. 

She was a member of her community for 79 years. She had bachelor’s and master’s degrees in library science from Rosary College and Dominican University in River Forest, as well as master’s degrees in English literature, theology and pastoral studies from Loyola University Chicago.

Sister Rita was a teacher and librarian at Nazareth Academy, La Grange Park (1947-1968) and a librarian at Loyola University Chicago for 40 years, including two years as the director of the library at Loyola’s Rome Campus. 

In retirement, Sister Rita worked as a St. Thomas Hospice volunteer and as congregation librarian. 

She is survived by her brother, Charles E. Stalzer.

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Sr. Anne Marie Knawa

Educator, community leader

Franciscan Sister of Chicago Anne Marie (Jean) Knawa, 93, died Oct. 12.

She entered the community in 1952, professed first vows in 1954 and professed final vows in 1959.

Sister Anne Marie taught at St. Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr (1953-1955); St. Louise de Marillac, La Grange Park (1957-1964) and Madonna High School (1964-1988). She also taught in Cleveland.

While at Madonna, she wrote the history of her community (1973-1988) and served as local secretary (1974-1975) and local treasurer (1983-1988).

She served at the motherhouse as community historian and as a caregiver (1988-1990), then served for 11 years at St. Anthony Media Center in Crown Point, Indiana. From 2001 to 2013, she served at the Lemont motherhouse, planning and overseeing projects, leading the Franciscan community life subcommittee and serving as a catechist at St. Alphonsus Parish, Lemont.

Sister Anne Marie retired in 2014.