Father Raymond Nicholas Ashenbrenner, O.P..
February 24, 2003
Born: April 25, 1924 Professed as a Dominican: Nov. 3, 1951
Ordained a Priest: June 1, 1951 Born to Eternal Life: February 20, 2003
Fr. Raymond N. Ashenbrenner, O.P., age 78 years, Feb. 20, 2003. Beloved son of the late Mary, nee Hoffmann and Ignatz Ashenbrenner; preceded in death by his sisters Elizabeth (Sr. Jordan, O.P.), Anne (Sr. Concordia, O.P.) and Rose (Tauschek) and his brothers John, Andrew and Joseph; remembered fondly by his sister Mary (Sr. Isnarda, O.P.) and his brother Edward; his nieces and nephews; the Dominican Friars of the Province of St. Albert the Great; and his many friends. Funeral services at St. Pius V Church, 1909 S. Ashland Ave., Chicago, Monday, Feb. 24, visitation 9 to 10:30 a.m., Office for the Dead 9:15 a.m., Funeral Mass 10:30 a.m., interment Dominican plot, All Saints Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Society for Vocational Support, c/o Dominican Provincial Office, 1909 S. Ashland, Chicago, IL 60608. 773-736-3833.
From the Guestbook on Legacy.com: (as of 03/01/03)
With 12 or so other Fenwick Friars, I had the pleasure of traveling to Germany and Austria with Father Ashenbrenner the summer of 1967. It was the trip of a lifetime, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for all he taught us and the respect for other cultures he instilled in us. An extraordinary teacher and an exemplary Dominican, we will remember him fondly.
Mark Tirio (Oak Forest, IL )
February 25, 2003
So short a Father for so tall a love and patience with us rambunctious Friars! Oh! to have visited Deustchland with the class. Zum Deuscten Eck was close for a few hours! Rest in peace, God hold you and keep you, Vater Aschenbrenner!
Dan Hirsch '72
Dan Hirsch (Waukegan, IL )
February 24, 2003
Father Ashenbrenner was a sweet and gentle man who is remembered fondly by the Stetenfeld family. Fr. Ray was my German teacher from '71 through '75 at Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill. We became reacquainted several years ago when Father returned in semi-retirement to Wisconsin, where I have resided for 19 years. I regret I was never able to travel to Germany with Fr. A. for one of his tremendous trips, but I am happy to find that I can still recite the "Vater Unser" that he taught me more than 32 years ago.
Thank you, Father Ray, for the gift of your years of enthusiastic and faithful teaching, for the joy and sacrifice of your priesthood, and for your friendship. You are missed here, but we are glad to have gained in the promise of the resurrection a new "Heiliger" to intercede for us "im Himmel mit dem Herrn."
Heiliger Bonafatius und Pater Raymond, bitte fur uns!
Der Familie Stetenfeld
Ernie Stetenfeld (McFarland, WI )
February 23, 2003
Rest in Peace, Fr. Ashenbrenner. And thanks for putting up with us in German class over the years at Fenwick.
Ed Ahern (Wheaton, IL )
February 23, 2003
I am sorry to hear about that. I was president of the German club at one point and went to Germany with "Pati" Aschenbrenner in 1968. It was an experience that I will never forget.
Patrick Anderson, MD '69
I never had the fortune to meet Fr. Ashenbrener, but he will be in my prayers.
Norm Canty '50
We went to Germany together in 1975
Scott Burgh '76
I took German with him and will be praying for him. He was one of the reasons I became a foreign language educator.
Steven Loughrin-Sacco '70
Thanks for letting me know. I had many occasions to speak to Father during my Fenwick years (1966-67/1969-70). I will remember him in my prayers.
Kevin O'Keeffe '70
Thanks very much for notifying me of Fr. Ashenbrener's death. Yes, I have him to thank knowledge of the German language — even though it seems to get less every year.
Class of 1954
I well remembrer Father Ashenbrener as moderator of the Fenwick Band. He really was a strong and enthusiastic support of the band, which struggled for acceptance at Fenwick for many years.
It was a great pleasure to see the band at the football game during last fall's reunion. Hopefully, one day, we'll have a band large enough to march at our football games. Band builds character.
Thanks for the notification and best regards,
Bob Kamm '57
I am very sad that Father Ashenbrener passed away. I was one of his German Students who went on his 1970 trip to Germany. While in Berlin I made my decision to join the Army as a career and later served as a Company Commander in the Berlin Brigade. He was a good influence on us. Hope you are able to notify Dan Lippe, Paul Ostrowski, Carl Premschak, Steve Hester, Robert Voves who were also on that trip.
Timothy F. Fitzpatrick '71
Army Special Operations Battle Lab
AOJK-BL, Bldg D-2509
Ft. Bragg, NC 28310
Raymond Nicholas Ashenbrenner, O.P.
Raymond George Ashenbrenner was born on April 25, 1924, in Milladore, Wisconsin, Illinois, being the youngest of the nine children of Ignatz Ashenbrenner and Mary Hoffmann. His early education was at Mayflower Public School, Milladore, Wisconsin, and St. Killian's School, Blenker, Wisconsin. He attended high school (1938-42) and two years of college (1942-44) at St. Lawrence College, Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin, a school run by the Capuchin Fathers.
On June 24, 1944, Raymond entered the Dominican novitiate at St. Thomas Aquinas, River Forest, Illinois, and was given the religious name Nicholas. He made his first profession of vows there on June 25, 1945 and pursued his philosophical studies (1945-48) at the Pontifical Faculty of Philosophy which was located at the Priory, earning first a bachelor's degree in philosophy and then the licentiate degree. After professing his solemn vows there on June 25, 1948, he began his theological studies (1948-51) at St. Thomas Aquinas Priory and completed them at St. Rose of Lima Priory, Dubuque, Iowa (1951-52), earning a Lectorate in theology. Bishop William E. Cousins, auxiliary of Chicago, ordained him a priest at St. Pius V Church, Chicago, Illinois, on June 1, 1951.
Father Ashenbrenner's first assignment, which was to last for twenty-five years (1952-77), was to teach at Fenwick High School, Oak Park, Illinois, where he introduced numerous students to the German language. After a distinguished teaching career as a secondary school teacher, he attended the Clergy Renewal Program at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, and then was assigned to be chaplain at the Dominican Sisters' Motherhouse, Sinsinawa, Wisconsin (1978-80). Desiring to engage in parochial ministry he labored for the next eight years in the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota, first at St. Philip Parish, Bemidji (1980-81), then at St. Joseph Parish, Middle River (1981-82), and finally as chaplain at Villa St. Vincent in Crookston (1982-88). Because of heart by-pass surgery and other health problems it was deemed best for him to assume a less strenuous ministry and he was assigned to the staff of the Shrine of St. Jude Thaddeus, Chicago, Illinois (1988-92), during which time he served also as part-time chaplain at St. Anthony Hospital, Chicago.
In 1992 Father Ashenbrenner took up chaplain duties at St. Joseph Home, Watertown, Wisconsin, a home for the aged, where he ministered for seven years. In 1999 he moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, where he continued a similar ministry at St. Elizabeth Home. In the early fall of 2000, he suffered kidney failure and was required to undergo kidney dialysis three times a week to remain alive. For a time there was hope that the kidneys might begin to function again, however, this turned out not to be the case. In October, 2000, he was moved to Resurrection Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Park Ridge, Illinois, and in February, 2001, he moved to Resurrection Life Center, Chicago, Illinois, where he resided until his death. All during this time dialysis was a necessity for survival. In February 2003 it was determined that heart by-pass surgery would again be necessary, a procedure which Father Ashenbrenner declined. It was at this time that he decided also to decline continued dialysis treatment. Shortly after noon on February 20th he died at Resurrection Hospital. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Pius V Church, Chicago, Illinois, on February 24, 2003, and burial followed in the Dominican Plot of All Saints Cemetery, Des Plaines, Illinois.
From the Mass of Christian Burial
Eulogy by: Fr. Vincent Blake, O.P.
IN REAL AUDIO
Dominican Friars Remember Fr. Nick:
Greg Moore, Vincent Blake, Richard LaPata, William Bernacki, Carlos Griego
IN REAL AUDIO