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Rev. Richard T. Wurzell

Deceased: 2023-02-02

Diocese: TOLEDO

CSM Graduation Year: 1961

The Reverend Richard T. Wurzel, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, died on February 2, 2023, at Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg. He was 89 years old.

Father Wurzel, a native of Fremont, Ohio, attended Fremont St. Joseph Elementary School and High School (Class of 1951); and The Athenaeum of Ohio (St. Gregory Seminary), Cincinnati, Ohio. Father Wurzel continued his preparation for the Priesthood at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati. He attended Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, Italy, where he earned his Doctor of Sacred Theology in 1961.

In 1959, he was ordained to the Priesthood by Bishop George J. Rehring. He served as associate pastor at St. Wendelin Parish in Fostoria, Ohio and taught religion in the parish high school (1961—64). He was associate pastor and then pastor at St. Thomas More University Parish in Bowling Green, Ohio (1964—78). He was the founding pastor of St. Joan of Arc Parish, Toledo, Ohio (1978—90) and pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Sylvania, Ohio (1990-2008).

Father Wurzel was a member of several diocesan committees and councils. He served on the Diocesan Tribunal, the Court of Equity, Building Commission and completed two terms on the Diocesan Priests’ Council. He was a member of the Mercy Hospital and St. Charles Hospital Ethics Committees.

Inspired by the renewal of moral theology called for by the Second Vatican Council, he taught many adult education classes throughout the diocese and beyond. His many students included priests seeking updating and education along with countless lay people who desired to grow in their understanding of Catholicism. He is fondly remembered by many for his Theology for Dummies that he taught while pastor at St. Joseph’s Sylvania.

He enjoyed travel, playing cards, especially poker, sports, good food and people.

Father Wurzel was preceded in death by his parents, Emerence L. (Gabel) and Francis B. Wurzel; and his sister, Jeanne Heyman. He is survived by his brother, Dr. John (Jack) Wurzel, his wife Mary Ann; and many nephews and nieces.

Reception of the Body and Vespers will take place at St. Joseph Church, 5373 S. Main Street, Sylvania, at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 6, with visitation following until 7:00 p.m. Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 7, with Funeral Mass beginning 11:00 a.m. Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas, Bishop of Toledo, will be the principal celebrant. Reverend Joseph P. Cardone will be the homilist. Interment will take place at Resurrection Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial gifts, in lieu of flowers, may be made to Fremont Bishop Hoffman Catholic School, 702 Croghan St., Fremont, Ohio 43420.