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Rev. Msgr. Donald W. Eichenseer

Deceased: 2011-12-22


ICTE Spring: 1990

The Rev. Monsignor Donald W. Eichenseer, 76, of Belleville, Ill., born May 3, 1935, in Hecker, Ill., died Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011, at St. Paul’s Home, Belleville, Ill.

Donald attended St. Henry Preparatory in Belleville, Ill., and St. Thomas Preparatory and Seminary in Denver, Colo. He was ordained May 27, 1961, at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Belleville, Ill., by the Most Rev. Albert R. Zuroweste.

Father Eichenseer served as associate pastor at St. Philip Parish in East St. Louis, Ill., St. Henry and Blessed Sacrament Parishes in Belleville, Ill., and St. Clare Parish in O’Fallon, Ill. He also taught religion at the Academy of Notre Dame in Belleville from 1969 to 1973. He served as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Olney/Stringtown from 1973 to 1982, as pastor of St. Clare in O’Fallon, Ill., from 1982 to 1994, and as administrator, then pastor, of St. Teresa Parish, Belleville, Ill., from 1994 to 2003.

During his time at St. Teresa Parish, Father Eichenseer was assigned as an advocate on the Belleville Diocesan Tribunal in 1997 and appointed to the Diocesan Finance Council in 2000. He was named Honorary Prelate – Monsignor on May 25, 2000. He was the Chaplain, and a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus Fairview Heights Council 1829.

Msgr. Eichenseer’s final assignment was serving as pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Albers, Ill., and St. Damian Parish in Damiansville, Ill., where he celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest. He retired on August 1, 2011. During his lifetime, his passion was corkball and baseball.

Monsignor was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Barbara C., nee Mueth, Eichenseer; two brothers, Wilfred Eichenseer and Cyril (Irene) Eichenseer; two sisters, Angela (Clarence) Wittenauer and Lucinda (Robert) Koesterer; and a sister-in-law, Mary Beth Eichenseer.

Surviving are his brother, Irvin “Bud” Eichenseer of Belleville, Ill.; numerous nieces and nephews; great-nieces and great-nephews; great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews; and cousins.

Memorials may be made to St. Augustine Catholic Church, Hecker, Ill., to St. Jude Children’s Hospital, or to the American Heart Association. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

Visitation: The Rite of Christian Burial will begin with Reception of the Body at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26, 2011, at St. Teresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday and from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, at the church.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, at St. Teresa of the Child Jesus Catholic Church, Belleville, Ill., with the Most Rev. Stanley G. Schlarman as principal celebrant and the Rev. Dennis F. Voss as homilist. Burial will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, at St. Augustine Catholic Cemetery, Hecker, Ill.