Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Msgr. Frederick Potthoff

Monsignor Frederick Potthoff, 95, died shortly after midnight Friday at University Place in West Lafayette.The well-known Catholic leader was pastor of St. Mary Cathedral from 1958 until 1990, when he retired. After retirement he stayed involved, filling in for priests when needed, covering weekend Masses and hearing confessions.He also continued his involvement with Lafayette Catholic Schools, serving as secretary to the board of trustees.Potthoff graduated from St. Lawrence Seminary in Wisconsin in 1938, and Saint Meinrad Seminary in St. Meinrad, Ind., in 1944.He was ordained soon after, by Bishop John F. Noll in Fort Wayne, four months before the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana was formed.GÇ£He was like everybodyGÇÖs father and grandfather,GÇ¥ said Rev. Daniel Gartland, priest of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Lafayette. GÇ£He was to most people, the (representation) of the Catholic Church in Lafayette.GÇ¥Additional information from the Fort Wayne Newspaper: Msgr. Frederick E. Potthoff, 95, died Friday Nov. 15, 2013, 12:08 a.m., at University Place, West Lafayette. Born Aug. 25, 1918, in Fort Wayne, Ind., he was the son of the late Frederick and Irene (Noll) Potthoff. He attended St. Mary's Grade School; St. Jude School; and Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne. He graduated from St. Lawrence Seminary in Wisconsin in 1938, and Saint Meinrad Seminary, St. Meinrad, Ind., in 1944. He was ordained on June 3, 1944, by Bishop John F. Noll in Fort Wayne four months before the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana was formed. His first assignment was as Associate Pastor at St. Mary Church, Anderson, and in 1948 he was named Pastor of St. Ambrose Church, Anderson, while continuing at St. Mary's. In 1958, he became Pastor of St. Mary's Cathedral where he served until his retirement in 1990. He was named a Monsignor in 1959. He was founding Chaplain of the Lafayette Serra Club, and in 1978 he was named Dean of the Lafayette deanery. In retirement, he served on the governance board as well as the board of trustees of the Lafayette Catholic School System. In 1990, he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by then Governor Evan Bayh, and was given a Marquis de Lafayette award for his years of service to the local community. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Margaret Potthoff; and two nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by two younger brothers. Mass of Christian Burial is 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary's Cathedral in Lafayette. Bishop Timothy L. Doherty presiding, Bishop Emeritus William L. Higi, homilist, and priests of the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana as concelebrants. Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the church with Rosary recited at 4:30 p.m. Interment will follow the Mass in St. Mary's Cemetery in Lafayette. Memorials may be made to the St. Mary's Cathedral Beautification Trust or Lafayette Area Catholic Schools Foundation. Hahn-Groeber Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. entrusted with the arrangements. Memories and condolences may be left at hahngroeberfuneralome. com.