Jesuit Father John E. Naus died on Sept. 22, 2013, in Milwaukee at Froedtert Hospital. He was 89 years old, a Jesuit for 71 years and a priest for 58 years.
Born in Milwaukee on Aug. 28, 1924, Fr. Naus attended Holy Cross Grade School and Marquette High School in Milwaukee before entering the Society at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Mo., on Aug. 8, 1942. Fr. Naus had the usual Jesuit course of studies at St. Stanislaus, Saint Louis University and St. Mary's College. He was ordained on June 16, 1955. After tertianship in Decatur, Ill., Fr. Naus earned a doctoral degree in philosophy from the Gregorian University in Rome. He pronounced his final vows on Aug. 15, 1959.
Fr. Naus did regency at St. Louis University High School and, after graduate studies, taught philosophy to young Jesuits at Fusz Memorial in St. Louis from 1959 to 1963. In 1963, Fr. Naus was assigned to Marquette University in Milwaukee, where he spent the bulk of his years of active ministry. He taught philosophy for over 40 years, specializing in the philosophy of humor. Along the way he became a professional clown named Tumbleweed. Fr. Naus was renowned as a resident hall chaplain known to thousands of Marquette students. At Marquette, he served as a Special Assistant to the President for nine years and, toward the end of his career, as a chaplain in the Alumni Memorial Union. A stroke finally forced Fr. Naus to move to the St. Camillus Jesuit Community, but he remained active in various ways on the Marquette University campus almost until his death.
Fr. Naus loved people, especially young people. He was a warm, charming person who laughed at himself as he made others laugh with him. He was the definition of an always approachable Catholic priest who helped literally thousands of college students through good times and bad.
Memorial gifts may be made to The Jesuits, 2050 N. Clark Street, Chicago, Illinois 60614.
To make an online contribution, please click here