Father John Beemster, 1913-2005

Beemster,_Fr_John_for_webFather John Beemster, 92, died at Divine Word Residence in Techny, Ill., on March 15, 2005. On Sept. 8, Father Beemster would have been 70 years in vows, and on Aug. 15, he would have celebrated 65 years of priestly ordination.

Father Beemster was born in Zwaag, North Holland (The Netherlands). The family immigrated to the Chicago area and became members of St. Willibrord’s Parish on Chicago’s Southside. Brother Willibrord Beemster, who was stationed in Bordentown, N.J., was a cousin of Father Beemster.

Father Beemster pursued graduate studies in mathematics at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. In 1970, he received a research grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue mathematics courses at St. Louis University, in St. Louis, Mo.

When Father Beemster was ordained in 1940, neither he nor his classmates received mission appointments because World War II was on the horizon. In the 1950s, Father Beemster served as rector of Divine Word High School Seminary in Epworth, Iowa.

For most of his career, he taught mathematics at Divine Word Seminary in East Troy, Wis. He was a dedicated chaplain of the Knights of Columbus in the East Troy area for 20 years and was honored with special celebrations by the Knights in recognition and appreciation of his years of outstanding service.

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