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Rev. Robert J. Wilhelm

Deceased: 2021-03-11

Diocese: TOLEDO

CSM Graduation Year: 1961

Reverend Robert J. Wilhelm, age 88, passed away peacefully on March 11, 2021. He was a lifelong Toledo resident, attending St. Agnes grade school and entering St. Meinrad Seminary from the eighth grade at the age of 13. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Toledo in 1959. He obtained a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati and participated in post-graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame and Fordham University, ultimately receiving a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome where he immersed himself in Italian culture, art, and cuisine. Countless students will remember him as a gifted professor at Mary Manse College, Lourdes University, and Siena Heights College.

Father Wilhelm ministered at various parishes in Toledo. He served as co-administrator at St. Michael’s in 1970, was the founding pastor of the Community of the Risen Christ in Toledo in 1972, and served as the pastor of St. Patrick of Heatherdowns in1975; St. John the Baptist in 1985; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in 1997. Since 2005, he served as chaplain for the Sylvania Franciscan Sisters, celebrating daily Mass in Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel on the motherhouse grounds and conducting funerals and various congregational celebrations. He cherished his time with his many loyal ongoing study groups, and his years’-long priest support group with best friends Fathers Arch Thomas, Fr. Bob Holden, Fr. Bob Reinhart, Fr. Dick Wurzel, Fr. Bob Kirtland, and Fr. Joe Vamos. His many parishoners will remember him as Father Wilhelm, a warm and caring priest. But to those in his inner circle (of which there are hundreds), he’ll be remembered as Father Bob — leader, intellectual, teacher, counselor, comforter, cook, host, friend, son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, and great-uncle.

Father Wilhelm was preceded in death by his parents, Clayton and Lyda (Parlo) Wilhelm; sisters, Rita Neeb and Marilyn Anderson; brothers-in-law, Carl Wm Neeb and Roy Anderson. He is survived by his niece, Kathleen (David) Wernert; nephews, Thomas (Sue) Neeb, Michael (Vanessa) Neeb, and David, Mark, Greg (Jennifer), Chris (Susan) and Tim (Natalie) Anderson; as well as 12 great-nieces and nephews; and dear friends, Susie Stapleton and Diane Wamsley.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel on the north end of the motherhouse grounds of the Sisters of St. Francis, with Reception of the Body and Vespers at 4:00 p.m. and continuing until 8:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, March 19, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., with the Most Reverend Daniel E. Thomas, Bishop of Toledo, as the principal celebrant at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel again on the grounds of the Sisters of St. Francis of Sylvania. Interment will be private. The Funeral Mass will be available to watch via Live Stream. Go to, scroll down and click on the Live Stream link, when prompted, enter the password: Sisters!! The family thanks the continuous compassionate care given by Home Hospice of Northwest Ohio.

Siccome una giornata bene spesa da lieto dormire, cosi una vita bene usata da lieto morire.

A day well spent brings happy sleep, so a life well lived brings happy death.

Memorials may take the form of contributions to the Sylvania Franciscan Sisters, or a charity of the donor’s choice.