Deacon Wilhelm served parishes in Denver, Aurora
By Denver Catholic Register
Deacon Martin “Marty” Antone Wilhelm Jr. died Oct. 23 at Emeritus Senior Living Facility in Denver. He was 81 and had been a deacon 25 years.
Born Oct. 17, 1931, to Martin Sr. and Carmen (Mendoza) Wilhelm in Harrisburg, Pa., he was baptized at Gesu Church in Miami Florida three months later. After graduating from high school in Coronado, Calif., he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1953 and worked as the non-commissioned officer in charge of his company’s electronic section. He later attended Purdue University and earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
On Jan. 30, 1987, he married Judith Merlo in Calumet City, Ill. He started his professional career working at Link Aviation, a flight simulator firm, and retired from Martin Marietta in Denver.
He was ordained a permanent deacon on May 9, 1987, by Archbishop Francis Stafford and was assigned to Queen of Peace Parish in Aurora immediately after ordination. During the course of his ministry, he also served at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Denver and St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Aurora, where he retired from active ministry on Aug. 31, 2007.
“Deacon Marty was an attentive person who genuinely cared for those he encountered,” said Deacon Joe Donohoe, director of deacon personnel for the Denver Archdiocese.
Deacon Wilhelm’s wife preceded him in death, as did his sister. He is survived by two daughters and four grandchildren.
A vigil service with evening prayer and rosary were held Oct. 28 at St. Michael the Archangel Church. Bishop James Conley was the main celebrant at a funeral Mass at the church on Oct. 29. Burial was at St. Simeon’s Cemetery in Aurora.