Wisconsin Rapids Deanery

of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin

Father Carl Dockendorff

Fr. Carl DockendorffFather Carl Dockendorff, 83, of Wisconsin Rapids and the town of Rome, Adams County, Wis., died Sunday, Oct. 19, 2003, at St. Joseph Palliative care Unit in Marshfield, Wis.

Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Wisconsin Rapids. The Most Rev. Raymond Burke, the Rev. Jerome Gerum and the Rev. William Menzel will officiate. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Wisconsin Rapids.

Father Dockendorff was born Feb. 23, 1920, in La Crosse to Bernard and Cora (Kurtenacker) Dockendorff. He attended Holy Trinity Grade School and Aquinas High School in La Crosse. He then attended Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, where he received a BA degree in philosophy in 1941. He then attended St. Mary's Seminary and the University of Baltimore in Baltimore, Md., where he received his STB degree. Father also spent one year in the law school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Father was ordained to the priesthood in La Crosse at the old St. Joseph's Cathedral by Bishop John P. Treacy on Dec. 8, 1945.

Father Dockendorff's first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Mary's in Wausau, Wis., from 1945 to 1950. He then was assigned as associate pastor of Saints Peter & Paul Church in Wisconsin Rapids, serving there until March 1956. Bishop Treacy then appointed Father to establish a new parish on the southeast part of Wisconsin Rapids, and the church was named St. Vincent de Paul Church. He built a school, church and Sisters' Convent, starting March 11, 1956, and was dedicated the following year in October 1957. In 1980-1981, St. Vincent extended its buildings to include a parish center with gymnasium and auditorium, which was dedicated by Bishop Freking in 1981. Father remained the pastor at St. Vincent de Paul Church until July 15, 1991, when he retired. He continued to give assistance at the church until Sept. 16, 2001.

Father was a longtime member of Serra Club and was a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. Father enjoyed traveling and was a fan of both the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.

Survivors include a brother, Mark Dockendorff of La Crosse; sisters, Marie Silha of Weymouth, Mass., Cecilia Davidson of La Crosse and Imelda Wright of La Crosse. He also is survived by longtime housekeeper Dolores Gerum of Wisconsin Rapids.

His parents; three brothers, Father Paul Dockendorff, Bernard Dockendorff, MD, and John C. Dockendorff; and infant sister, Therese Dockendorff, preceded Father in death.

Friends may call at St. Vincent de Paul Church from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday from 9:30 to 11 a.m. An Office of the Dead Service will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the church.

Ritchay Funeral Home in Wisconsin Rapids is handling all arrangements.

Memorials can be designated to St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church or to Assumption High School.

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