Sunday, January 30, 2011

Amanuensis Monday - Rev. Robert Anthony

 "Rev. Robert Anthony (hand-dated Mar. 16-1956)

EDEN, Wis., March 16 - (Special) - The Rev. Robert Anthony, 45, who was to have been celebrant Saturday morning for the funeral mass of a second cousin, died early Friday of a heart attack in the rectory of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in this Fond du Lac County community.

Pastor of St. Mary's and nearby St. James Mission since January, 1950, Father Anthony was to have officiated at services in St. Columbkille's Church at Elba (Dodge County) for Nicholas Powers, 80, who helped found the Astico State Bank and the Elba Canning Co.

A native of Columbus, Wis., where he attended schools before graduation from St. Francis Minor and Major Seminary in Milwaukee. Father Anthony was ordained a priest May 22, 1937, in St. Ann's Church, Milwaukee.

Well known throughout the Milwaukee Archdiocese, Father Anthony was assistant pastor at St. Joseph's in Fond du Lac from 1937-40, at St. Monica's in Whitefish Bay the following year, at St. Sebastian's in Milwaukee from 1941-45 and at St. Gall's Church in Milwaukee from 1945 until he came here.

His accomplishments at St. Mary's included building a school, convent and shrine to the Blessed Virgin, and organizing the first Boy Scout troop here.  A member of the Knights of St. George, the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Order of Foresters, Father Anthony was completing plans for remodeling of the church and rectory at the time of death.

His body will be at the Dugan Funeral home in Fond du Lac from 3 p.m. Saturday until 4 p.m. Sunday, when it will be moved to his church to lie in state until services on Tuesday.

Area clergy will chant the Office of the Dead at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, preceding a solemn Requiem high mass at 11 a.m. at which Msgr, Henry G. Riordan, pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Fond du Lac, will be celebrant, Archbishop Albert G. Meyer of Milwaukee will attend the funeral.

Burial for Father Anthony, an only child whom cousins survive, will be in St. Jerome's Cemetery at Columbus."

This and most of the other Wisconsin clippings I have were passed on to me from my husband's family.  This was from my mother-in-law, Dolores Cayemberg nee Kuehl.  I don't think the Rev Anthony was a relative.  I rather think that he was an ancestor's pastor and undoubtedly a cherished member of their church-family.  All that he accomplished as a priest before his early death at the age of 45 is amazing.  He was obviously a very dedicated man. 

I am a bit disappointed at the lack of information on his family.  The newspaper mentions the 2nd cousin who Rev Anthony was to preside over the funeral of, but it doesn't mention who his parents were.  There are nuggets of information in here that people can follow if they wanted to track down information on his lineage, to not mention someone's parents in an obituary is to do a great disservice to the deceased.  Just this genealogist's humble opinion.


  1. Most ministers and priests leave long, impressive obituaries. Usually they are a wealth of genealogical information. This one is lengthy, but your are correct about the lack of family data. Very strange! The church might have a copy of the funeral sermon. I've found quite a few for ministers in my family, but I have no idea if this is something the catholic churches would archive.

  2. The Catholic Churches most likely would, I just don't think that it would pertain to my family (but who really knows). How sad it is to not acknowledge the parents though! I can't imagine the church wouldn't have known who his parents were either since it would have been in his records, unless they were inaccessible at the time the obit was written. A mystery! But not mine :)