Father Leroy Francis Eikens, 91, of Wabasha, died Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 at St. Elizabeth Healthcare Center in Wabasha.
Leroy Francis Eikens was born November 4, 1920, at Caledonia, MN, the son of Henry and Dora (Kipp) Eikens. He attended local Catholic schools. In early adulthood he engaged in farming with his brother, Clarence. In 1955 he entered St. Mary's College, Winona, MN, where he received a degree in Philosophy. He made theological studies at St. John's University Seminary, Collegeville, MN, and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood on May 31, 1962 by Bishop Edward Fitzgerald in Sacred Heart Cathedral, Winona.
Father Eikens served as Associate Pastor in St. Theodore Church, Albert Lea, St. Felix Church, Wabasha, St. Francis and St. John Churches, Rochester. As Pastor, he served the parishes of St. Bridget, rural Rochester, St. Joachim, Plainview, St Bernard, Stewartville, St Rose of Lima, Lewiston and St. Anthony, Altura.
Fr. Eikens served for six years as Chairman of the Winona Diocesan Social Concerns Committee, and for eight years he served as a representative of the Docese of Winona on the Minnesota Catholic Conference Social Action Committee. He retired July 1, 1991, and frequently assisted parishes on weekends for another ten years.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father and step-mother, Emma (Klug) Eikens, and by his brothers, Irvin, Ralph, and Clarence, and a sister, Jeanette Peter. He is survived by a sister, Helen Klug, and sister in law, Leonette Eikens and nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 am, Monday, Dec. 5, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Caledonia. Bishop John Michael Quinn will preside with the priests of the Diocese of Winona concelebrating. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, Caledonia. Visitation will be from 4:30 to 6:30 pm Sunday, at Holy Family Hall, next to the church, where a prayer service will be held at 6:30 pm. Visitation will also be from 10 to 11 am Monday morning at the church. Memorials are suggested for Masses or for the Dorothy Day House, Rochester.
McCormick Funeral Home, Caledonia is assisting the family with arrangements.