Father Joseph's Story

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SPOKANE, WASH. - The Reverend Joseph H. Blattner, Jr., aged 83, passed away on April 16, 2016, in Spokane, Washington. Acta est fibula, plaudite.

He was born in St. Louis, Missouri on February 6, 1933.

He was pre-deceased by his mother, Clara Cotter Blattner; and his sisters, Lorraine Caufield, Doris Ann Blattner, and Billie Clair Miller. He is survived by his sister, Judy Preis, of Lakeland, Florida. De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

He received his Bachelor's degree in philosophy from Kendrick Seminary in St. Louis Missouri in 1954, and was ordained a priest by Joseph Cardinal Ritter of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis after graduating from Kendrick Seminary on March 22, 1958. Caesar si viveret ad remum dareris. Subsequently, he served at St. Gregory's Parish in St. Louis, and was a teacher of religion at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in St. Louis.

He received his Master's degree in Modern European History in 1963 from St. Louis University; and was then posted as a missionary priest to Bolivia and Chile from 1963 to 1965. Returning to St. Louis in 1965, he served at Saint Augustine's, Holy Guardian Angels', and Saint Bridget's parishes in St. Louis. He subsequently received a Master's degree in Social Work from St. Louis University in 1971; and a Master's degree in education from the University of Missouri in 1982. He was fluent in Spanish, French, and German.

He was also a chaplain at the Deaconess Hospital, in St. Louis, Missouri.

From 1968 through 1982, he served as an officer in the Missouri Air National Guard; and in 1982, he joined the United States Air Force as a chaplain.

In 1968 he was assigned to the Tactical Control Group in St. Louis, Missouri; in 1979 he was transferred to the St. Louis Fighter Wing in St. Louis, Missouri; in 1982 he was assigned to active Duty at Eglin Air Force Base, in Fort Walt Beach, Florida; in 1984 he was assigned to Torrejon Air Force Base, in Torrejon, Spain; in 1986 he was assigned at Mountain Home Air Force Base, in Mountain Home, Idaho; in 1988 he was assigned to Zweibruchen Air Force Base, in Germany; and from 1991 to 1993 he served in Grifiss Air Force Base, in Rome, New York.

He received five Air Force Meritorious Service Medals, and one Air Force Commendation Medal. Acta non verba.

Retiring from the Air Force in 1993, as a lieutenant colonel, he was assigned to St. Benedict's Roman Catholic Church in Benedicta, Maine; and was responsible for its mission churches: St. Agnes, St. Joseph's and St. Paul's in the Towns of Island Falls, Stacyville, and Patten.

Following those assignments, he served parishes in Pius X Catholic Church, in Portland, Oregon; St. Mark's Catholic Church, in Burlington, Vermont; in St. Vince De Paul Church, in Burlington, Vermont; as well as parishes in Utah, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska.

He also was a chaplain for the New England Branch of the Association of Former Federal Narcotic Agents.

Special thanks to Jane Rush Cummings, Norah Gardiner, the late Mary Ann Guiggey, and Anna Rand Robinson, for their loyalty and patience. They deserve a special place in heaven. Fortus quo fidelius.

Dormit in pace.

Condolences and anecdotal messages may be forwarded to pathunt@fairpoint.net, for forwarding to friends.
Published on  April 30, 2016
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