September 10, 2021

Obituaries

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)

BECK, Jr., Carl C., 81, Sacred Heart, Indianapolis, Aug. 11. Brother of Janice O’Brian, David and Steven Beck.

BLITZ, Raymond J., 80, St. Barnabas, Indianapolis, Aug. 29. Husband of Anita Blitz. Father of Shelly Mayse, Sherry Sullivan and Jeff Blitz. Grandfather of seven.

BURKHART, Russell L., 85, St. Mary, Greensburg, Aug. 22. Father of Marilles Mauer and Tony Burkhart. Brother of Rita Dickman, Margie Eldridge, Thelma Griewe, Stella Vanderpohl, Dick and Paul Burkhart. Grandfather of four. Great-grandfather of six.

CHRISTIANI, Anthony, 84, Prince of Peace, Madison, Aug. 27. Father of Jennifer Dadabbo, Felicia Lynam, David, Matthew and Phillip Christiani. Brother of Paul Christiani. Grandfather of seven. Great-grandfather of seven.

DEHNE, Mary Jeannette T., 86, St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Aurora, Aug. 26. Mother of Jennifer Whitaker and Chuck Dehne. Grandmother of three. Great-grandmother of two.

DICKERSON, Richard H., 81, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Bright, March 21, 2020. Husband of Patricia Lucken. Father of Patty Allen, Melissa Belt, Renee Feggins, Cheryl Purvis, Irmgard Seiter and Gary Hamersly. Brother of Herbert Dickerson. Grandfather of 16. Great-grandfather of 19.

DINKEL, Robert J., 70, St. Michael the Archangel, Indianapolis, Jan. 10. Father of Cameron and Todd Dinkel. Brother of Andrew, Anthony, Mark and Thomas Dinkel. Grandfather of five.

DORR, Richard J., 63, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Bright, July 17. Husband of Margaret Dorr. Father of Adriana, Elizabeth, Benjamin and Samuel. Grandfather of two.

Eichhold, William A.,80, Our Lady of the Greenwood, Greenwood, May 2. Husband of Connie Eichhold. Father of Maria Puccini, Joseph and Patrick Eichhold. Brother of Betty Thesing, George and Lou Eichhold.

EMMETT, Robert R., 93, Christ the King, Indianapolis Aug. 28. Father of Maureen Hughes, Marcy Kamaka, Jamie Martin, Meg Masterson, Mark, Michael, Patrick and Rob Emmett. Brother of Bette Vaughan. Grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather of several.

FITZIBBONS, Lorraine, 79, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Richmond, Aug. 25. Mother of Kathryn Tackett and Richard Fitzibbons. Grandmother of two.

GEIS, Raymond B., 91, St. Mary, Greensburg, Aug. 24. Father of Nita McCreary, Jean Stacy, Yvonne, David and Gregory Geis. Brother of Marita Billman and Carl Geis. Grandfather of six. Great-grandfather of four.

HOEING, Carroll P., 80, St. Mary, Greensburg, Aug. 30. Husband of Dorothy Hoeing. Father of Karen Backlund, Teresa Nobbe, Brian and Keith Hoeing. Brother of Delores Bruns, Marieda Koors, Alfred, Jerome and Sheldon Hoeing. Grandfather of seven. Great-grandfather of five.

HUSSION, Betty Jean, 94, St. Roch, Indianapolis, Aug. 20. Mother of Melissa Finley and Alan Hussion, Jr. Grandmother of two.

JEFFERS, Loretta C., 99, Good Shepherd, Indianapolis, Aug. 11. Mother of Susan Higgins, Patricia Walters and John Jeffers, Jr. Sister of Wesley Walton. Grandmother of five. Great-grandmother of five.

LECLERE, Gloria M., 93, St. Mark, Perry County, Aug. 23. Wife of Earl Leclere. Mother of Jane Leclere-Doyle, Patty Mills, Bob, David, and Dr. Joe Leclere. Sister of Paul Etienne. Grandmother of nine. Great-grandmother of 13.

MAYER, Patricia N., 94, St. Roch, Indianapolis, Aug. 26. Mother of Kathy Delpha, Patty Ralston, Ann Marie, Margaret, Mary Lou, Paul and Richard Mayer. Grandmother of 18. Great-grandmother of 13.

MEIRING, Anthony, 81, St. Michael the Archangel, Indianapolis, Aug. 25. Husband of Mary Meiring. Father of Roberta Bowman, Anthony Meiring, Jr., and Louis Williams. Brother of Darlene Porter and Greg Meiring. Grandfather of 11. Great-grandfather of 14.

RIES, John T., 77, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Indianapolis, Aug. 19. Father of Theresa Davis, Andrew and David Ries. Brother of Barbara Stumpf and Rosie Young. Grandfather of three.

SLOWEY, Frank J., 95, St. Vincent de Paul, Bedford, Aug. 23. Husband of Grace Slowey. Father of Bill, David and John Slowey. Grandfather of two.

TORRES, Oscar Rojas, 45, St. Anthony, Indianapolis, Aug. 26. Husband of Laura Hernandez Ayala. Father of Sarahi, Yareli, Bryan, Cesar and Cristian Rojas. Son of Simon Rojas and Zenaida Torres. Brother of Erika, Maricruz, Marisol, Sonia, Felix and Vianey Rojas, and Elias Chavez. Grandfather of three. †


Providence Sister Mary Ryan served as an educator, librarian and archivist

Providence Sister Mary Ryan, a member of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in St. Mary-of-the-Woods, died on Aug. 23 at Mother Theodore Hall on the campus of her religious community’s motherhouse. She was 73.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Aug. 31 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception at the motherhouse in St. Mary-of-the-Woods. Burial followed at the sisters’ cemetery.

Sister Mary was born on July 15, 1948, in Salem, Mass. She entered the Sisters of Providence on Aug. 16, 1989, and professed final vows on July 20, 1996.

Sister Mary earned a bachelor’s degree at Salem State University in Salem, Mass., and a master’s degree in library science at Dominican University in River Forest, Ill.

During her 32 years as a member of the Sisters of Providence, Sister Mary ministered for five years in Catholic schools in Illinois. She later served as a librarian in Massachusetts. In 2005, she returned to the motherhouse where she served as archivist until retiring due to poor health in 2015. In retirement, Sister Mary continued to volunteer at the motherhouse and at a public library in West Terre Haute.

She is survived by a brother, James Ryan of Danvers, Mass.

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.


Franciscan Sister Helen Eckstein served for 40 years at St. Michael School in Brookville

Franciscan Sister Helen Eckstein, formerly Sister Antonella, died on Aug. 30 at the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Oldenburg. She was 81.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Sept. 3 at the Motherhouse Chapel in Oldenburg. Burial followed at the sisters’ cemetery.

Sister Helen was born on March 31, 1940, in Ripley County. As she grew up, she and her family were members for different periods of

St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Morris, the former St. John the Evangelist Parish in Enochsburg and St. Nicholas Parish in Ripley County.

Sister Helen was a member of St. John when she joined the Sisters of St. Francis on Feb. 3, 1958. She professed final vows on Aug. 12, 1963. Sister Helen earned a bachelor’s degree in education at Marian University in Indianapolis and a master’s degree in education at Xavier University in Cincinnati.

During 63 years as a member of the Sisters of St. Francis, Sister Helen ministered in Catholic education for 45 years in Indiana and Ohio before retiring to the motherhouse in 2005. In the archdiocese, she served at Holy Name of Jesus School in Beech Grove from 1960-63 and at St. Michael School in Brookville from 1965-2005. At the motherhouse, she ministered in the community’s associate office from 2005-06 and in its development office from 2006-19.

Sister Helen is survived by a sister, Rosella Koehne of Batesville, and a brother, Anthony Eckstein of Cincinnati.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Sisters of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, IN 47036-0100. †

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