Rev. Alfred Dettmer
Rev. Alfred Dettmer
Dec. 24, 2013
MUNSTER — Rev. Alfred Dettmer, age 83, of Munster passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013.
He is survived by his loving sister: Sister Richilde Dettmer PHJC of Donaldson; three sisters-in-law: Irene (Late Clemen) Dettmer of Crestwood, Ill., Irene (Late Leonard) Dettmer of St. Charles, Ill., and Anna (Late John) Dettmer of Plymouth; many loving nieces and nephews; and dearest friend and caregiver: Villa Mockiene and her son Matas.
He was preceded in death by six loving brothers: Theophil, Aloysius, Clement, Edmund, John, and Leonard.
Father Alfred “Al” Dettmer was born in Germany in 1930. He attended St. Meinrad Seminary and was ordained a priest in 1956. His first assignment was at St. Joseph Church in Hammond. While there he started a choral group of youngsters, the “Show Teens” did very well. In fact, he led them on a tour of Europe. Some ended up on Broadway, N.Y. and invited Father Al to their performances.
His next assignments were to St. Joan of Arc Parish in Merrillville and St. Margaret Mary Church in Hammond. His longest position was pastor of Queen of All Saints in Michigan City for 20 years. Somehow he became involved with the difficulties of Bosnia and was the unofficial leader in the Chicago land area of placing students into his rectory. He arranged for massive amounts of school textbooks to be shipped to Bosnia through our military. When Fr. Dettmer traveled to Bosnia he would often stay at the Cardinal’s home. Father Dettmer actually had a permit from the Vatican to solicit funds for war torn Bosnia.
His last assignment was to serve as pastor of St. Maria Goretti Church in Dyer from which he retired. In retirement, he remained very active in helping out, praying mass etc. in many places, almost daily; and he has given enthusiasm and encouragement to many priests. Almost every night he would have supper with one of his fellow priests with great conversations.
Father Dettmer was a very generous person not only with his time but his resources as well — generous to a fault some have said. Countless numbers of people have experienced his help in many different ways.
A rite of reception will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 at St. Maria Goretti Church, 500 Northgate Drive, Dyer; with a visitation to follow until 7 p.m. ending with a night prayer. A visitation will also take place Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014 from 9-10 a.m. at the church with a morning prayer at 10 a.m. and a funeral Mass beginning at 10:30 a.m. with Bishop Dale J. Melczek celebrating the mass. Interment will take place Friday Jan. 3, 2014 at New Oak Hill Cemetery in Plymouth at 12 p.m. central time; 1 p.m. Plymouth time.
Father Dettmer was loved by many people. He has truly been a priest of Christ.
Burns-Kish Funeral Home in charge of arrangements (219-836-5000).