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02/23/2007
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Father Probstfield, pastor and monk, dies


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file photo
Benedictine Father Edgar Probstfield
CONCEPTION - Benedictine Father Edgar Probstfield of Conception Abbey died Feb. 11 at St. Stephen's Infirmary at the abbey. He was 80.

He was born Victor David Probstfield on Jan. 9, 1927, in Verona, Mo., the son of Paul John and Christine (VanHatten) Probst-field.

He entered the novitiate at Conception in 1945 and professed his first vows as a Benedictine on July 11, 1946. He was ordained May 29, 1952.

Being mechanically inclined, Father Edgar filled many positions within the monastery. In 1954 he was asked to go to the abbey's new foundation in Elkhorn, Neb., now known as Mt. Michael Abbey. He served as farm and plant manager, becoming the business manager there. He later served as business manager of Conception Abbey from 1970 to 1976.

In 1959, Father Edgar was assigned as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Springfield. This was the first of many pastoral assignments, including St. Columba, Conception Junction; St. Paul the Apostle, Tarkio; St. Benedict, Burlington Junction; St. Joseph, Trenton; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Princeton; and St. Joseph, Parnell. He also served at St. Peter Parish on the Indian Mission at Fort Yates, N.D.

Declining health necessitated Father Edgar's return to the abbey at Conception this past summer from his most recent assignment at St. Joseph Parish in Parnell. However, wanting to stay busy he became the community mailman. He remarked to Abbot Gregory Polan, "You know, this is the perfect assignment for me. It's given me a way to get to know everyone by name, again."

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Paul John II, Edgar, John, Lawrence, Clarence and James Probstfield; and sister Ruth Evans.

Survivors include his monastic confreres, including his biological brother, Benedictine Father Regis Probstfield. He is also survived by a brother, Ralph Probstfield, Tucson, Ariz.; sister, Caroline McNerney, Mt. Vernon; sisters-in-law: Geneva Probstfield, Verona and Gerda Fitts, Hermitage; and many nieces and nephews and their children.

Vespers of the Faithful Departed was celebrated Feb. 13 and a funeral Mass was celebrated Feb. 14 at the abbey basilica at Conception. Burial was in St. Columba Cemetery, Conception.



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