Monsignor Lester Albert WEMPLE

Male 1905 - 1980  (75 years)

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  • Name Lester Albert WEMPLE 
    Title Monsignor 
    Born 22 May 1905  Chicago, IL Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 11 Aug 1980  Toronto, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery, Sarnia, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I4810  Wemple Family Ancestry
    Last Modified 13 Dec 2017 

    Father Albert H. WEMPLE,   b. 27 Nov 1874, Chicago, IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 30 Dec 1934, San Diego, CA Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60 years) 
    Mother Florence Rose SCALA,   b. 18 Nov 1883, Chicago, IL Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 May 1950, Sarnia, ON, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 66 years) 
    Married 03 Sep 1902  Hammond, Lake County, Indiana Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F1475  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • According to his nephew, Paul Wemple, he became a Roman Catholic priest and when he died he was a monsignor. After he died a building was built and named in honor of him in London, Ontario.

      From papers sent to the compiler by Michael Lee Wemple of Bay City, MI on July 1, 1999:

      Refer to

      KINGS COLLEGE RESIDENCE (London, Ontario, part of the University of Western, Ontario.)

      . . . King's college provides on-campus housing for approximately 370 students. Women are accomodated in the Wemple building, the Townhouses and Alumni Court. Male students live in the Townhouses and the Wemple building. Living in residence puts you next door to all the facilities at King's, including the dining hall. . . .


      . . . The Cardinal Carter Library was formally opened on 29 September 1995, an is named in honour of G. Emmett Cardinal Carter, a former Roman Catholic Bishop of London, with a lifetime commitment to education. The new Library replaces the old Lester A. Wemple Library, which was constructed in 1970 and enlarged in 1980. . . .

      Papers sent to the compiler on March 25, 2000 by Michael Lee Wemple of Bay City, MI:

      Education: Primary - Our Lady of Merch School, Sarnia.
      Secondary - Sarnia Collegiate, Sarnia
      Philosophy - School of Philosophy, Queens Avenue, London.
      Theology - St. Peter's Seminary, London.
      Degree - B.A. Honours Philosophy, U.W.O.

      Post Graduate Studies: Angelicum in Rome, Ph.D. 1931-1934.

      Ordained: June 14, 1930 in St. Peter's Cathedral, London, Ontario by Bishop D. O'Connor of Petersborough.

      Appointments: Assistant Pastor 1930-1931 - St. Peter's Cathedral, London.
      Pastor 1965-1966 - St. Mary's Parish, London.
      Pastor 1969-1975 Holy Name of Mary Parish, St. Marys.

      Other: 1934-1955 he was a Professor of Philosophy in St. Peter's Seminary, London. In 1949 he was named Newman Club Chaplain of the University of Western Ontario.

      1955-1962 he was Dean of the College of Christ the King in London and continued to teach Philosophy.

      In 1962 he was named a Monsignor.

      When he retired as Pastor of Holy Name of Mary Parish in St. Marys, the people gave him a trip to Rome.

      On May 22, 1975 he retired and went to live in Residence in Holy Name of Mary Parish in Windsor.

      He died suddenly in St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, on August 11, 1980. He was seventy-five years old. is Funeral Mass was celebrated in Holy Name of Mary Church in Windsor. It was attended by four Bishops, more than two hundred clergymen and hundreds of friends. It provided visible proof of the high regard in which he was held in religious, academic and community circles. He was buried in Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery in Sarnia next to his mother.

      Tribute: In June of 1980 he celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a Priest and received in Honourary Doctorate from the University of Western Ontario. King's College also honoured him. On that occasion King's College established a memorial fund in support of higher education. At Convocation on June 12, 1980, Dr. J. Morgan stated: To all who knew Monsignor Wemple, the nurturing and guiding of this infant institution through its formative years will ever remain the chief monument of his life. Monsignor Lester A. Wemple was known to many as a priest, teacher, man and friend. In the 50th year of his priesthood he received much deserved recognition for his years of service - the new library at King's College was named after him, and the College also promoted the award of his Honourary Doctorate from the University of Western Ontario in June 1980 to mark his role in the establishment of King's College.

      He seemed very well on the day of the Convocation and enjoyed the ceremony and the opportunity to meet so many of his friends.

      by Paul Crunican

      I remember him as an athlete. At the seminary, thirty years older than most of us, he could outrun us all. Each Saturday there was the slow hike and the fast hike. Those brash enough to try the latter usually ended up puffing along some distance behind Wempy. And we had seen or heard of his legendary ability to swim several miles out into Lake Huron just to keep in shape.

      I remember his saying Mass. Graduates of St. Peter's have a tradition of celebrating the Eucharist with a devotion. For my generation. Father Wemple's personal example was one of the most important sources. His pubic speaking voice was high pitched, and many of us had fun mimicking it, but it was impossible to miss the faith and love that went into those sing-song phrases.

      I remember his talks on sex. Again it was easy to make fun, as some of the more memorable phases for the early days of Christ the King College attest. Some would have said he had a hang-up on the subject. I think he had a towering anger against any and all exploitation in sex - or any other matter where people could and did take advantage.

      Above all, I remember him a a truly gentle man and priest. Once, as a student, I tried to repay him for taking me along to a conference. He refused my offer. He only said, When the time comes, you do the same for someone else. Even those who became instant back-door graduates of the King of some midnight misdemeanour, often became friends again. You could get awfully angry with him over some impulsive action, but you couldn't stay mad long. His goodness was too transparent.

      One of the readings selected for his funeral mass was the all things to all men passage from the ninth chapter of 1st Corinthians. We might have expected St. Paul to say For the weak I made myself strong. Instead his works are For the weak I made myself weak. Somehow that phrase was the right one for Lester Wemple. You had a sense of a strong, vulnerable man who was not afraid to take a chance, to risk everything for his faith and hope in Jesus Christ. We pray for him and remember him with great affection.

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