Jesuit Father Walter J. Stohrer died on July 14, 2018, at St. Camillus, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He was 88 years old, a Jesuit for 69 years, and a priest for 56 years.
Born in Evanston, Illinois, on Feb. 2, 1930, Fr. Stohrer attended grade school in Peoria, Illinois and Omaha, Nebraska. After graduating from Creighton Preparatory School in Omaha, he entered the Society on Aug. 8, 1947. Fr. Stohrer had the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri; Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington; and the University of Innsbruck in Austria. He was ordained in Innsbruck on July 26, 1960, made tertianship in Decatur, Illinois, and pronounced his final vows on Sept. 8, 1980. In 1968 he earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
After regency at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Fr. Stohrer spent most of his years of active ministry teaching philosophy at Creighton University in Omaha (1962-1963 and 1967-1971) and at Marquette University in Milwaukee (1972-2010). He served as rector of the Marquette University Jesuit community (1977-1983). He also served as a spiritual and retreat director, and as chaplain of the Marquette University College of Nursing.
Fr. Stohrer was committed to the ministry of higher education and very effective both in the classroom and in his pastoral ministry to students, faculty, and staff. He was a quiet, extremely reliable and steady companion in his Jesuit community. He remained intellectually alive and active even after declining health led to his moving to the St. Camillus Jesuit Community in 2015.
Click here to read A Jesuit’s Journey reflection by Fr. Stohrer on his life’s ministry.