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Reverend Louis Anthony DEJACO 1

He was born on March 28, 1891 in Newport, Kentucky at 942 Saratoga Street. He was baptized on March 29, 1891 in Newport, Kentucky at Saint Stephen Catholic Church by Rev. Joseph Merschmann. His Small_fr_louis_dejaco Godparents were Louis Thoeny and Louisa Thoeny. He appeared in the census in 1920. Name: Louis DeJaco – Home in 1920: Mt. St. Mary Seminary, Beechmont Avenue, Cincinnati Ward 1, Hamilton, Ohio; Age: 28 years; Estimated Birth Year: abt 1892; Birth Place: Kentucky; Father’s Birth Place: Switzerland; Mother’s Birth Place: Switzerland; Marital status: Single; Race: White; Sex: Male; Able to read: Yes; Able to Write: Yes; Household Members: Louis De Jaco 28. He was ordained on May 26, 1923 in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio at Saint Peter in Chains Cathedral.

From the History of the Diocese of Covington (1954): DEJACO, REV. LOUIS A. – Native of Newport, Kentucky (born March 28, 1891). Studied at Saint Joseph College in Rensselaer, Indiana, and Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was ordained by Archbishop Henry Moeller of Cincinnati, on May 26, 1923 at Saint Peter Cathedral in Cincinnati. He celebrated his First Solemn Mass at Saint Stephen Church in Newport, Kentucky on May 27, 1923.

Assignments – Assistant Pastorates: Sacred Heart Parish in Bellevue, Kentucky; Saint John Parish in Covington, Kentucky; Mother of God Parish in Covington, Kentucky. Pastorates: Saint George Mission Center, Jenkins (1930), Kentucky; Saint Patrick Parish in Verona, Kentucky (1930-34); Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Twelve Mile (1934-1951). He observed his Silver Jubilee of Ordination, May 26, 1948 at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Twelve Mile, Kentucky. He died December 13, 1951, and is buried in Saint Stephen Cemetery in Fort Thomas.
He and his brother, Rev. Francis J. DeJaco, returned to Tirol during 1939 just prior to World War-II to visit the relatives living there.

He died on December 13, 1951 in Covington, Kenton County, Kentucky at Saint Elizabeth Hospital. From his obituary in the Diocesan Messenger: Twelve Mile Parishioners Mourn Death of Father Louis A. DeJaco. Sts. Peter and Paul church, Twelve Mile, will be without its pastor this Christmas. Pontifical Requiem High Mass for Rev. Louis A. DeJaco, victim of a fatal heart attack December. 13, was held in his parish church Monday morning, December. 17, one week and a day before the Feast of the Nativity.

The Most Reverend Bishop was celebrant of the funeral Mass at 10:30 am., following the recitation of the Office of the Dead at 10 am. Burial followed at St. Stephen cemetery, Newport. Funeral services for the Twelve Mile pastor were held on the day he had planned to move into his new rectory which has just been completed. Father DeJaco’s remains lay in state at St. Stephen’s church, Newport, from 2 to 9 PM. last Saturday. From 2 PM. Sunday the body reposed at Sts. Peter and Paul.

At the funeral Mass, Father Francis DeJaco, brother of Father Louis, pastor of St. Mary’s church, Alexandria, was assistant priest. Other ministers were: Rev. Anthony Deye, chaplain of St. Anne’s Melbourne, deacon; Rev. John F. Danz, pastor of St. Joseph’s Winchester, sub-deacon; Rev. Leo Egbring, pastor of St. James Ludlow and Rev. Walter Greskamp, pastor of St. Joseph’s, Four Mile, deacons of honor to Bishop Mulloy; Rev. Allen Meier, the Bishop’s secretary, and Rev. Harry Tenhundfeld, assistant at the Cathedral, masters of ceremonies. A priest’s choir, directed by Rev Lawrence Leinheuser, pastor of St. Joseph’s, Cold Springs, sang the Mass. Rev. John Murphy and Rev. Charles Garvey lead the recitation of the Office of the Dead. Sermon at the Mass was by Bishop Mulloy. Five Monsignors, 20 priests, and a large number of laity attended.

FOURTH IN YEAR: Father DeJaco was the fourth diocesan priest to die this year and the third in the last three months. Father DeJaco, 60, was taken to St. Elizabeth’s hospital, where the sudden attack occurred, Sunday, December. 9. He had been visited by members of his family and friends, including Miss Magdalene Fritz, his housekeeper for 20 years, during visiting hours Wednesday.

LIFE OF SACRIFICE: Father DeJaco had been pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul for the past 17 years, since July 2, 1934, and celebrated his silver Jubilee of ordination there in 1948. At the time of his death he was living in a garage on the church property while a new rectory was being erected. Father converted the former church rectory into classrooms and residence quarters for the Sisters when the old school was declared unsafe for occupancy. He was expecting to move into the new rectory in time for Christmas. Father DeJaco’s entire life as a priest was termed one of self-sacrifice by his close friend Rev. Leo Egbring, pastor of St. James church, Ludlow. Commenting on the Twelve Mile pastor’s move into the garage, Father Egbring stated “it was just his nature to give up his own comfort in order that the Sisters and children might have better quarters.”

He recalled that Father DeJaco had spent much time doing “janitorial” work around the parish until his doctor ordered him to cease all strenuous activities at the time of an attack a year ago. Father DeJaco himself often said: “I am my own carpenter, painter, bricklayer, and plumber.” Father DeJaco constantly praised his parishioners in the little 86-family parish, Father Egbring stated. He often told how the people of the parish and the entire community gave him their wholehearted cooperation even in the dark days of the depression.

FOLLOWED FAMILY TRADE: Born March 28, 1891, in Newport, Father DeJaco was the son of the late Francis X, and Antoinette DeJaco. He followed the DeJaco’s family trade of painting and decorating of churches before entering the seminary and did much of that type of work in churches where he has been stationed, including the complete remodeling of St. Patrick’s church, Verona.

Father attended St. Stephen’s school, Newport; the Ohio Military Institute; St. Joseph’s college, Collegeville, Indiana, and St. Mary’s seminary, Norwood, Ohio. He was ordained to the priesthood May 26, 1923, in St. Peter in Chains cathedral, Cincinnati, by the late Most Rev. Henry Moeller. Following ordination Father held assistant pastorates at Sacred Heart, Bellevue; St. John, Covington. He served as a diocesan mountain missionary at St. George’s church, Jenkins, before being appointed pastor at Verona and Twelve Mile.

SURVIVORS: In addition to Father Francis, Father DeJaco is survived by four brothers: Fred DeJaco, Ft. Thomas; Charles, Alexandria, and George and Edward, both of Newport. All are in the interior decorating business. Three brothers and one sister are deceased. He was buried on December 17, 1951 in Fort Thomas, Kentucky at St. Stephen Cemetery.

1Source: “Dejaco Family History” 11 Nov 2009 http://home.fuse.net/nfdejaco/