Father Robert Hegenbarth, 90, of Sparta, passed away Tuesday, June 16, 2020, at his home.
He was born February 26, 1930, in Mormon Coulee, rural La Crosse, to Edward and Evelyn (Thiele) Hegenbarth. He was a student at Holy Trinity Elementary and at Blessed Sacrament Elementary schools in La Crosse. He became a seminarian and attended St. Lawrence Seminary High School in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin. He continued his priestly formation and studied philosophy and theology at St. John’s Seminary in Collegeville, Minnesota. Bishop John P. Treacy ordained him a priest on May 19, 1956, at Holy Cross Seminary Chapel in La Crosse. Father Hegenbarth’s first priestly assignment was as an assistant at Our Lady of Peace Parish and also part-time instructor at Columbus High School in Marshfield. In 1959, Father Hegenbarth was appointed an assistant at St. Olaf Parish in Eau Claire. Two years later, he was appointed an assistant at St. Patrick Parish in Sparta. In 1967, he was appointed an assistant at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Wisconsin Rapids where he remained for two years before being appointed the Pastor of the churches of Holy Guardian Angels in Almond, St. John the Baptist in Heffron, and St. Martin in Buena Vista. In February 1976, Fr. Hegenbarth was appointed Pastor of St. Alexander in Port Edwards and five years later was also appointed the administrator of All Saints Parish in Babcock. In March 1994, Father Hegenbarth was appointed Pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish in West Salem and St. Mary’s Parish in Bangor; until he was granted senior priest status on July 1, 2014.
Survivors include his siblings, Marie (Herb) Meyers, Darlene (Reiny) Kammel, and Jerry Hegenbarth (Lorraine Miller); sister-in-law, Dorothy Hegenbarth; longtime caregiver, Mary Lou Schauf; many nieces and nephews; the Schauf family; other relatives; and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Clarence Hegenbarth; niece, Karen Williams; and nephew, Timmy Kammel.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a private Mass of Christian Burial will be held. A public visitation will begin at 4:00 p.m., and conclude with the evening prayer from the Office for the Dead at 7:00 p.m., Friday, June 19, 2020, at Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta. There will be a recitation of the Rosary at 3:45 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. Online condolences may be offered at www.schanhoferfh.com
Lanham-Schanhofer Funeral Home, Sparta, is assisting the family with arrangements.
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