Denny's death, like the others from our class, remind me of our age and of the fragility of life. It calls to mind memories, and regrets, and emotions that now surface. I would like to share a few memories regarding Denny and our days at Saint Vincent Prep School in Latrobe and our residence hall of Saint Joseph Hall in Greensburg.
Our days at the Prep lasted from the Fall of 1961 through graduation in the Spring of 1965 (50 years this coming June). We were the first class of all seminarian prepsters, twenty-one of us studying for the diocese and the others studying for the Benedictine Order. There were thirty-three of us that graduated in '65. Denny was from the town of United, PA. He was the outstanding student in our class - sharp, personable, smart and athletic. Needless to say I was slightly jealous (but I have confessed that already). It seemed that everything came to him easily - his studies came easy, his sports ability was all encompassing, and his popularity was no match for this insecure prepster. I must give him my thanks, though, for an important accomplishment in my life. One year in our football intramurals, I was assigned to Denny's team, and through that experience I received my one and only sports trophy (a small football trophy not awarded for ability but rather for ties to the team).
We did not keep in touch over the years until I read in the paper of the death of one of his parents - and I was able to concelebrate the funeral Mass at Forty Martyrs in Trauger. Since then, Denny has been to a few of our all school Prep reunions and we have renewed our ties. Our reconnection was warm and friendly, comfortably sharing the gifts that God had given us. One of Denny's precious gifts is his wife and family, his work and his golfing, and his enjoyment of their home in Florida. A number of the class have emailed me, with a few of their fond memories of Denny and of the struggles of High School seminary days.
May Denny be embraced by the gentle and tender love and mercy of God, and may his family find comfort and peace.
[ ps If you are wondering about the blue and gold colors of this post ... those were the Prep colors of high school days at Saint Vincent ]