Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. Robert Brownfield

Robert L. Brownfield was born on December 4, 1918 in Louisville, KY, the son of Robert P. and Mary L. (Hellmann) Brownfield. He was in a seminary program when World War II began, but left and served in the United States Army. After returning from the service he received his bachelorGÇÖs degree in geological engineering from St. Louis University and later his masters in science degree in geology from the University of Illinois. He worked as a geologist and civil engineer for the Illinois Department of Highways before retiring in 1985. Robert was united in marriage to Emily Hruska on September 8, 1951 at St JosephGÇÖs Catholic Church, Watervliet, Mich. Emily preceded him in death on November 11, 1989. After her death, he again considered the priesthood and was accepted as a candidate by Bishop Gerald OGÇÖKeefe. He studied at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, CT. Fr. Brownfield was ordained April 25, 1992 in Springfield, IL by Bishop OGÇÖKeefe. He served the Diocese of Davenport temporary administrator at St. JosephGÇÖs parish in Columbus Junction, St. Mary parish in Wapello and St. James parish in Washington from 1992 to 1993. In 1993 he was appointed parochial vicar of Sacred Heart parish in Fort Madison. He served there until his retirement in 1994. During his ministry he learned Spanish and provided Spanish Masses at various parishes in the diocese. He also served on the editorial board of The Catholic Messenger. Fr. BrownfieldGÇÖs memberships included: the American Institute of Professional Geologists, Geologist Institute of America, the Illinois Society of Professional Engineering, the Knights of Columbus, and the Legion of Mary. From 1994 to 2002 Fr. Brownfield was a resident of the Newman Catholic Student Center at the University of Iowa, Iowa City. He is survived by his daughter, Anne (Jack) Brown, Minnetonka, MN; sons, Robert P. (Stacy) Brownfield, Maryester, FL, Rev. David L. Brownfield, Grand Mound, IA, and John J. (Lois) Brownfield, Los Gatos, CA; grandchildren, Jeremy Lawrence Brownfield, Taylor Marie Brown, and Bryan Lee Brownfield; and a sister, Mary Lou Craven, Louisville, KY. Memorials can be made to the Priest Aid Society. Fr. Brownfield was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and siblings, Sister Ora Mae Brownfield, John H. Brownfield, George Brownfield, and Frank Brownfield. May they rest in peace