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WILKIE, William E.

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WILKIE, William E. (Rev.) (St. Anthony (near Marshalltown), IA, 1930--Dubuque, IA, May 17, 2017). The son of Frank and Pearl (Stebbins) Wilkie, Fr. Wilkie's education was at LORAS COLLEGE (bachelor of arts, maxima cum laude, 1950), the Catholic University of America (master’s and SThL), the University of Cambridge, England (master of arts Cantab), and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland (doctor of philosophy, summa cum laude). He was ordained to the priesthood for the ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBUQUE in 1954 and during the two years following served as assistant pastor to Msgr. Eugene Lorenz of Sacred Heart Church, Monticello, and St Joseph's Church, Stone City.

He spent the rest of his life on the faculty of Loras College as a professor of history and after retirement, as professor emeritus. He was very active in campus ministry. In 1966, he was elected as one of the four original members of the Faculty Handbook Committee that began the process that eventually ended in the formal organization of the Faculty Senate. He was chair of the history department and the division of social studies, and faculty senator for the division of social studies.

From 1979 until 1986 he served as the first director of the CENTER FOR DUBUQUE HISTORY as Loras College. For many years he led the research seminar for senior history majors and directed over 130 theses on various topics in the history of the city and county of Dubuque. In the late 1980s and early 1990s he taught evening courses in Dubuque history to mixed groups of regular students and free auditors over 60.

Fr. Wilkie designed and implemented the yearly Roger Rechenmacher Award for Creativity, and organized the endowing and implementation of the yearly Msgr. William Dempsey Green Award for the outstanding senior history major. In retirement he founded and endowed the Wilkie Research Lectures in Dubuque History, the Wilkie Classic Film Collection, and the Wilkie Collection of Historic Maps of the Mississippi River and of North America, all located in the Academic Resource Center at Loras College.

Beginning in 1972, Fr. Wilkie held at various times 12 major fellowships in Europe and the United States, including ones in Italy (NEH), in Switzerland (Zurich), and at the University of Kansas (Mellon). In 1972-73 and again in 1981, he was elected into a visiting fellowship at the University of Cambridge, and in 1976 was elected a life fellow of the Royal Historical Society (London). In 1988 he was a fellow of the John Carter Brown Library of Americana at Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island) and in 1992 at the Newberry Library (Chicago). Twice he held Fulbright fellowships in Germany (Bonn and Munich) and frequently did research in London, Paris, and Washington, DC. Three times he was a resident scholar in the Vatican while researching in the Vatican Library and the Vatican Archives. At the invitation of the consejo superior de investigaciones cientificas, he was twice a resident in Madrid and once in Seville.

During periods away from the archdiocese as a graduate student or on fellowship, he was active in the Catholic student university chaplaincies at Cambridge, Brown and Kansas. During the years in Fribourg, Switzerland, he regularly offered the German Sunday Mass in the Cathedral of St. Nicolas and the 7:30 Mass on weekday mornings in French. His book, Rome and the Tudors before the Reformation (1975) was published by the Cambridge University Press. In 1987, he was producer, writer, director and narrator, and Professor Thomas Goodman was the sound and photographic technician, for their television film, Identity of Dubuque. He was a contributing author to Seed/Harvest, a History of the Archdiocese of Dubuque (1987) and wrote many encyclopedia articles and occasional pieces. His book, Dubuque on the Mississippi (1988), a bicentennial history, is in its third printing and received two national awards.

After retirement, he continued research on the history of the Mississippi Valley 1500-1830. He served for several years as a board member of the DUBUQUE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY, which in 2000 awarded him their Helen Mercer Award for distinguished contributions to Dubuque history. While serving on the Dubuque Historic Preservation Commission, he designed the signs marking the limits of Dubuque’s preservation districts.

During the 1990s, he began alternating service as a priest to the retired sisters on Mount Saint Francis, Dubuque and among the people around the lake of Patzcuaro in the mountains of central Mexico. He occasionally offered the Mass in Spanish at St. Patrick’s, Dubuque and made one or two yearly retreats of 10 days each to a variety of Benedictine monasteries in Europe and the United States. Liturgies in CHRIST THE KING CHAPEL were Fr. Wilkie's passion along with his extensive film and book collection. He dedicated the final few years of his life to strengthening Loras liturgies through music. Father provided Loras students hundreds of music and liturgical awards so they could perfect their vocal and instrumental skills. His gifts made a profound and lasting impact on Loras liturgies. F. Wilkie was honored at a special 60th Jubilee Mass on Sunday, May 4, 2014, at Christ the King Chapel.



Obituary. https://obittree.com/obituary/us/iowa/dubuque/egelhof-siegert--casper-westview-funeral-home-and-crematory/rev-william-wilkie/2936063/