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Obituaries for October

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Father Thomas Espelage

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Thomas Espelage was celebrated Oct. 16 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Deer Park. Bishop Joseph R. Binzer presided. Father Espelage, 75, died Oct. 2.

A Cincinnati native, Father Espelage did his preparatory studies at St. Gregory Seminary and studied theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary of the West. He was ordained on May 23, 1970, at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains by Archbishop Paul F. Leibold.

Father Espelage received his first assignment on June 9, 1970, as associate at St. Raphael Parish and to teach at Catholic Central High School, Springfield. in November, he was also appointed assistant director of the Springfield Youth Center. On June 17, 1971, he was appointed associate at St. Mary Parish, Springfield. On June 19, 1974, he was appointed associate of St. Bernard Parish, Springfield, On Dec. 9, 1975, he was also appointed youth director of the Springfield Deanery. Father Espelage was appointed resident associate of Holy Angels Parish, Sidney, and to the faculty of Lehman High School on July 3, 1980. On Aug. 4, 1981, he was appointed to the faculty of Elder High School and as resident associate of St. Teresa of Avila Parish, Cincinnati. He then went back to Springfield, in 1983 to serve as full-time associate of St. Teresa Parish, effective July 1 of that year.

Father Espelage was appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish, Urbana, on March 18, 1985. He was assigned as temporary administrator of St. Michael Parish, Mechanicsburg, and Immaculate Conception Parish, North Lewisburg, for the month of July 1993. He was appointed pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, St. Paris, for a period of six years, while continuing as pastor of St. Mary Parish, effective Sept. 7, 1995. Father Espelage was appointed pastor of St. John the Evangelist Parish, on July 1, 1997. On July 2, 2003, he was reappointed to another six-year term. Father Espelage remained pastor there until retirement on July 1, 2016.

Father Espelage is survived by his siblings, Mary Jane Espelage, Joyce Frondorf, Nancy Jasper, Stanley Robert Espelage, Linda Weckenbrock, Anne Wiesner, Lawrence Espelage, Harry Espelage and Jeannie Griffin. Interment was at St. Joseph (Old) Cemetery

Sister Jane Roberts

A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Jane Roberts was celebrated Oct. 5 in the Mount Notre Dame chapel. Sister Jane, 91, died Sept. 29. She was a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 70 years.

A native of Milford, Sister Jane’s active ministry included three distinct phases. Initially, she worked with students and families for 24 years as a teacher and principal at schools in Dayton, Cincinnati and Chicago. She spent the next 25 years as the director of religious education at Christ the King Parish in Cincinnati, and St. Phillip the Apostle in Morrow. In 2001, she returned to school to become a paralegal and worked with Sister of Notre Dame de Namur Rose Ann Fleming until health issues made it necessary for her to retire in 2015.

Interment was in the convent cemetery.

Sister Jane Grosheider

A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister of Charity of Cincinnati Jane Grosheider was celebrated Oct. 12 in the motherhouse chapel. Sister Jane, 92, died Sept. 19. She was a Sister of Charity of Cincinnati for 75 years.

A native of Denver, Sister Jane served as an educator for 20 years outside the archdiocese. Sister Jane was then called to serve in the formation of young women religious at the Sisters of Charity motherhouse; this continued from 1965 through 1973. She also ministered as a chaplain and spiritual director. She moved to the motherhouse in July, when her health began to fail.

Interment was in the Sisters of Charity Cemetery.

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