Tokarz, Bro. Ted O.F.M.

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Bro. Theodore “Ted” Tokarz, O.F.M., 80, a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Assumption B.V.M. Province, passed into eternal life on Saturday, December 23, 2017, at Aurora Memorial Hospital in Burlington. The first of three children of Joseph and Helen (Graczyk) Tokarz, he was born August 14, 1937, on Chicago’s south side and baptized Ronald. He entered the novitiate of the Franciscan Friars at Lake Geneva in the fall of 1955. On August 15, 1960, he professed his solemn vows. After an early assignment in Italy, Bro. Ted returned stateside and was assigned to the friaries in Watkins Glen, NY, Cedar Lake, IN, Grand Rapids, MI, and Burlington, as kitchen aide, chauffeur, and in general maintenance.

In 1969, Ted continued his studies at UW-Whitewater and, in 1972, earned his Bachelors of Science in Education (Spanish major and German minor). He served the friars at St. Bonaventure as a teacher, Assistant Dean of Students, and then Dean of Students. He continued to pursue graduate studies and, in 1978, earned an M.A. in Spanish and Latin American Literature. He continued teaching at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia, St. Mary’s Prep in Orchard Lake, MI, and St. Francis Prep in Spring Grove, PA.

Following a term as Guardian of Assumption Friary in Pulaski, from 1987-1990, Bro. Ted returned to academia and earned an M.A. in Theological Studies at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. After graduating, he spent the next five years (1991-1996) at St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, MI, teaching Spanish and Theology. The next 12 years were given to internal service at the friaries in Green Bay and Pulaski, and to clerical work with the Franciscan Pilgrimage Program in Milwaukee and, again, at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia.

After being assigned senior friar status, Bro. Ted assumed the duties of receptionist at the Provincial Office in Franklin, until health problems eventually brought those last working days to a halt.

He is survived by his brother: Bro. Jerry Tokarz, O.F.M.; a sister: Sharon (James) Call; a nephew: James; and his friar brothers of the Assumption B.V.M. Province. He was preceded in death by his parents.

The Funeral Mass was celebrated in Queen of Peace Friary in Burlington. Burial will take place in the Provincial Cemetery in Pulaski.