June 4, 2010


Please submit in writing to our office by 10 a.m. Thursday before the week of publication; be sure to state date of death. Obituaries of archdiocesan priests serving our archdiocese are listed elsewhere in The Criterion. Order priests and religious sisters and brothers are included here, unless they are natives of the archdiocese or have other connections to it; those are separate obituaries on this page.

Submit an obituary here (parishes and funeral homes only)

AGUILAR, Luis, Jr., 28, St. Anthony, Indianapolis, May 9. Son of Luis and Maricela Aguilar Sr. Brother of Cindy, Daisy, Elizabeth, Wendy, Jesse and Tony Aguilar.

BAGLEY, Kathleen (Oates) Sanders, 87, St. Joseph, Shelbyville, May 19. Wife of William Bagley. Mother of Mary Harris, Nancy McNeely, Kathie Scherrer, Margaret Tedrowe, Russ, Scott and Vincent Sanders. Sister of Holland Oates. Grandmother of 24. Great-grandmother of several.

BRITTENHAM, Betty, 88, St. Mary, Richmond, May 17. Wife of Paul Brittenham. Mother of Beth Foster, Sally Miller and Sue Vaziri. Sister of Rosemary Burns. Grandmother of eight. Great-grandmother of 14.

CASSIDY, James, 47, St. Ann, Indianapolis, April 18. Son of Dan and Bunny Cassidy. Brother of Jacki Caviston, Debi Marshall and Michael Cassidy. Uncle of several.

CLEARY, Joseph David, 53, St. Jude, Indianapolis, May 13. Father of Crystal Cleary, Nicole Pence and Angie Worden. Son of Paul and Marlene Cleary. Brother of Jesse, Jim, Mark and Mike Cleary. Grandfather of one.

CONSIDINE, Stephen P., 56, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Indianapolis, April 17. Brother of Mary Beth Harlow, Ellen Simpson, Susie Smith, Bob, Matt and Terry Considine.

COOKE, Sylvia, 63, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, New Albany, May 19. Mother of Michael Cooke and Roger Hood. Daughter of Mary Jo McGary. Sister of Carolyn Gibson. Grandmother of five.

DUFFY, Robert L., 86, St. Christopher, Indianapolis, May 12. Brother of Jim and John Duffy.

DURBIN, Lois F., 76, St. Pius X, Indianapolis, May 15. Mother of Maureen Strothmann, Gregory and Stephen Durbin. Grandmother of seven. Great-grandmother of one.

HILGER, Donna Lee, 66, St. Bartholomew, Columbus, May 12. Wife of Deacon Edward Hilger. Mother of Julie Kimes, Christine Ruskaup, Rebekah, Brian and Heinrich Hilger II. Daughter of Dorothy Loos. Sister of Thomas Casey. Grandmother of four.

HOFF, Wilma Mildred, 96, St. Christopher, Indianapolis, May 16. Mother of Cynthia McDaniel, Judith Padgett, Janice Richardson, Mary Jo, Christopher, Dale, Richard and Stephen Hoff. Grandmother of 18. Great-grandmother of 17. Great-great-grandmother of five.

HUBER, John Donald, 76, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Jeffersonville, May 9. Husband of Phyllis Huber. Father of Jan Nickell, Kelly Stuber and Dean Huber. Brother of Kathleen Jacobi, Elaine Sprigler, Carl, Gerald, Kenny and Steve Huber. Grandfather of four. Great-grandfather of four.

JOHNSON, Gary, Sr., 62, Holy Angels, Indianapolis, May 14. Husband of Judy Johnson. Father of Synetra Taylor, Gail, Alonzo, Benjamin, Damon, Gary Jr. and Michael Johnson. Son of Myrtle Johnson. Brother of Denise Curry, Dorress Daniel and Sheila Johnson. Grandfather of 27. Great-grandfather of six.

LINKEL, Kathryn V., 97, St. Bridget, Liberty, May 13. Mother of Margaret Gay and Phyllis Webster. Sister of Ruth Hauri, Rose Wagner and William Eckerle. Grandmother of one. Great-grandmother of six. Great-great-grandmother of 12.

LOGAN, Daniel John, 73, Holy Spirit, Indianapolis, May 13. Husband of Barbara (Carr) Logan. Father of Anne, John and Matt Logan. Brother of Kate, Pat, Dennis and Mike Logan. Grandfather of six.

MASON, Jeffrey Lynn, 22, St. Paul, Sellersburg, May 16. Son of Ted and Sandy Mason. Brother of Andy and Bo Mason.

MEREDITH, Rita C., 86, St. Louis, Batesville, May 18. Mother of Beverly Fuchs. Grandmother of two. Great-grandmother of two.

MICK, Dolores Amelia, 92, St. Anthony, Indianapolis, May 5. Mother of Amelia Titsworth, John, Michael and William Mick. Grandmother of 14. Great-grandmother of nine.

ORFAIT, Fred J., 79, St. Luke the Evangelist, Indianapolis, May 12. Husband of Therese Orfait.

PRESTO, Jonas S., 44, St. Bartholomew, Columbus, May 13. Husband of Jannette Presto. Father of Mary Abigail, Mary Adelin, Mary Aliza and Mark Presto. Brother of Marie Cayanan, Erlinda, Arsenio and Joseph Presto.

RICHARDSON, Shirley A. (Miller), 73, St. Bernadette, Indianapolis, April 29.

SLOMINSKI, Helen Anita, 87, St. Christopher, Indianapolis, May 4. Aunt of one.

SMITH, Andrees, 79, St. Christopher, Indianapolis, May 17. Husband of Cornelia Smith. Father of Lynn Smith. Stepfather of Robert Curd. Brother of Sandra Craig, Brenda McNeil, Judy Means, Joyce Scruggs, Darrold, Eric and Ronald Smith. Grandfather of eight. Great-grandfather of 13.

SMOCK, Evan, 27, St. Gabriel the Archangel, Indianapolis, May 17. Father of Bradley and Gavin Smock. Son of Ron and Lisa Wiesehan. Brother of Jesse, Peg, Chris and Jacob Smock. Grandson of Robert Evans, Paul and Elain Presenoplis.

STIER, Florence M., 94, St. Mary, Greensburg, May 20. Mother of Jane Badgley and James Stier. Grandmother of seven. Great-grandmother of 17. Great-great-grandmother of three.

TUCKER, Ruth Virginia (Meyer), 88, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, New Albany, May 20. Mother of Vicki Schindler and Terry Tucker. Grandmother of three. Great-grandmother of one.

UHLARIK, Anna Marie, 96, St. John the Baptist, Osgood, May 5. Mother of Joseph and William Uhlarik. Grandmother of four. Great-grandmother of one.

WHEATLEY, Raymond L., Jr., 63, St. Simon the Apostle, Indianapolis, May 20. Father of Jessica Perdue, Jennifer and Chris Wheatley. Grandfather of four.

Carmelite Sister Elizabeth Meluch served as prioress for several terms in Indianapolis

Carmelite Sister Elizabeth Meluch of Oldenburg died on May 16 at University Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was 78.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on May 21 at the motherhouse chapel of the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg. Burial followed at St. Francis Cemetery in Oldenburg.

Elizabeth Meluch was born on April 1, 1932, in Charleroi, Pa.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology at Sister Mary of the Springs College, now Ohio Dominican University, in Columbus, Ohio.

After graduating from college in 1956, she joined the Discalced Carmelite Sisters of the former Monastery of the Resurrection in Indianapolis. She professed her vows on June 14, 1959.

Sister Betty served the Carmel in Indianapolis as prioress and assistant prioress several times.

Two years ago, the Carmelite sisters moved to Oldenburg.

Sister Betty was a gifted and prolific writer who authored many essays for “Pray the News,” the monastery’s former Web site.

Surviving are two brothers, Andrew Meluch of Westlake, Ohio, and William Meluch of Selma, Texas; a sister, Mary Colborn of Export, Pa.; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorial gifts may be sent to a charity which serves the poor in honor of Sister Betty’s concern for those in need.

Providence Sister Rita Lechner ministered as a teacher, principal and pastoral associate

Providence Sister Rita Lechner, formerly Sister Veronica, died on May 24 at Mother Theodore Hall at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She was 73.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on May 29 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception at the motherhouse. Burial followed at the sisters’ cemetery.

Rita Lechner was born on Jan. 18, 1937, in Jasper, Ind.

She entered the congregation of the Sisters of Providence on Jan. 5, 1955, professed first vows on Aug. 15, 1957, and professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1962.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and a master’s degree in education at Indiana University.

During 55 years as a Sister of Providence, she ministered in education as a teacher or principal for 22 years at Catholic schools in Indiana and Illinois.

In the archdiocese, Sister Rita taught at the former St. Ann School in Indianapolis from 1959-60, the former St. Benedict School in Terre Haute from 1963-67 and Holy Spirit School in Indianapolis from 1972-80.

She served as the principal at Holy Cross School in Indianapolis from 1967-72 and Holy Spirit School in Indianapolis from 1980-81.

After retiring from teaching, Sister Rita served as a pastoral associate for 25 years at parishes in northern Indiana and Kentucky.

She returned to the motherhouse in 2007, and ministered as a tour guide at the Providence Center and receptionist at the Woods Day Care Center.

In recent months, she ministered in prayer full-time with the senior sisters.

Surviving are three sisters, Elizabeth Bormann of Dennison, Ill.; Eileen Lauka of Temecula, Calif.; and Providence Sister Mary Ann Lechner of Indianapolis.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Sisters of Providence, 1 Sisters of Providence Road, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, IN 47876. †

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