In Memory of Monsignor Eugene Egan


1928-MONSIGNOR EUGENE EGAN-2016  Monsignor Eugene Elmer Egan “Father Gene” passed away peacefully on Saturdobit-msr. eganay, June 25, 2016, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne, MN.  He was born on the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, September 29, 1928.  Elmer (Casey) and Margaret Egan welcomed their fourth child and first son into their farm family located on the Iowa-Minnesota line in Lyon County, Iowa.  His parents had a family of six with three sisters older than Father Gene and two younger brothers. They were devoted members of Saint Mary’s Parish in Ellsworth, MN.  Father Gene graduated from Saint Mary’s High School in 1946 and began his chosen priesthood vocation at the seminary in Loras College, Dubuque, IA.  Following his graduation from there in 1950, he continued his studies at the Theological College (Catholic University) in Washington DC where he completed his seminary training. He was ordained a Catholic Priest on June 6, 1954 by Bishop Edward Fitzgerald in the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona, MN.  He said his First Mass shortly thereafter at Saint Mary’s in Ellsworth.  For the next 11 years he served in three parishes: Sacred Heart, Waseca; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Currie and Saint Felix, Wabasha.  His many talents were tapped as he began directing the school band, coaching basketball and football, teaching religion and Latin and also serving as Guidance Counselor. In 1965 with encouragement from Bishop Fitzgerald, he became a Chaplain in the US Army.  During his 20 years of military service he was assigned duty in Korea, Fort Leonard Wood MO, Vietnam, Germany (2 tours), Fort Sill OK, William Beaumont Medical Center TX, Fitzsimmons Medical Center CO.  During his service he earned a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling.  He was awarded the three Meritorious Service medals and an Army Commendation medal for his outstanding performance and the Bronze Star for bravery in combat (Vietnam). While serving in Germany he was introduced to the “Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend” organization and thrived as a “Presenting Priest” for 31 years, an endeavor which he found most rewarding.  He retired from the Army on September 30, 1985.  Upon his return to the Winona Diocese, he served as pastor of Saint Martin’s, Woodstock/Saint Mary’s, Lake Wilson, Saint Catherine’s, Luverne/ Saint Joseph’s, Jasper and Saint Gabriel’s, Fulda/Saint Columbia, Iona.  He was named “Monsignor” on December 5, 1997.  He joined the ranks of “senior priests” in June 2000 and resided in the family home in Ellsworth.  He continued to assist as a substitute priest throughout the southwest region of the Diocese where he was well known and loved for his devoted ministry. He celebrated his Golden Jubilee In 2004 with family and parishioners and was honored by the naming of the Saint Mary’s Bell Tower after him.  In March 2013 he left his home in Ellsworth for health reasons and took up residence at the Minnesota Veteran’s Home in Luverne where he continued to live under the tender care of their professional staff.  He is predeceased by his parents, Elmer and Margaret, his sisters, Mary Clare Fishenich and Ruth McCarville and his brother Ray.  He is survived by his sister, Patricia Lopez, Camarillo, CA; brother,  Gerry (Joan) Egan, Port Orchard, WA; and many nephews/nieces, grandnephews/nieces and great grandnephews/nieces. Visitation will be 4:00-7:30 pm Tuesday, with parish prayers at 7 pm, at St. Catherine Catholic Church in Luverne. Visitation also from 10 to 11 am Wednesday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Ellsworth. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 11 am Wednesday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Ellsworth. Burial with full military honors will be in the St. Mary Cemetery in Ellsworth.    Dingmann Funeral Home, in Luverne, is in charge of arrangements. Memorial can be made to Sacred Heart, Waseca, MN; St, Jarioth,  Iasco, MN; Immaculate Heart of Mary,  Currie, MN; St. Felix, Wabasha, MN; St. Martin’s, Woodstock, MN; St. Mary’s, Lake Wilson, MN; St. Catherine’s, Luverne, MN; St. Joseph’s, Jasper, MN; St. Gabriel’s, Fulda, MN; St. Columba, Iona, MN; St. Mary’s, Ellsworth, MN; or World-Wide Marriage Encounter. God gave us all a great gift in the life of Eugene E. Egan.  May God rest his Soul.

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