Published in Lexington Herald-Leader on November 8, 2012
CORBIN - Father Thomas
J. Imfeld, 89, passed away on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 in Tennessee.
Thomas J. Imfeld was born on June 12, 1923, to Nicholas and Anna Meyer
Imfeld of 315 Crescent Avenue, Covington, Kentucky, and was welcomed home
by his older siblings, Idamae and Robert. He attended St. Patrick Elementary
School and graduated from Holmes High School in 1941.
After graduating from Holmes High, he worked at a wholesale grocery store
for approximately one year, and then volunteered for service in the United
States Marine Corps on the Feast of Immaculate Conception, December 8,
1942, in the height of World War II. He completed basic training in San
Diego, and then was sent to the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) for
approximately two years of active military duties.
Imfeld returned to the states, sent by the Marine Corps to the University
of Michigan in preparation for Officers School. While in Michigan, the
war ended, and he received an honorable discharge from the U.S.M.C. Imfeld
continued his education at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, on the G.I.
bill, where he received his degree in education and administration.
After college, he played professional baseball for five years, played
on the world champion softball team for four years, and worked as an electrician
in the off season.
Following two, not so subtle calls (from above), he knew his vocation
was to the priesthood. Upon completing the seminary education at Holy
Cross (minor) Seminary in LaCrosse, WI, and St. Paul (major) Seminary
in St. Paul, MN, Thomas Imfeld was ordained a priest of the Covington
Diocese, on May 30, 1959, by the Most Reverend Paul Leibold, Auxiliary
Bishop of Cincinnati.
Upon his ordination, Father Imfeld was assigned as assistant pastor at
St. Mark Church in Richmond, Kentucky, and helped start the Newman Center
at Eastern Kentucky University. He served in Richmond for about two years.
When the pastor of the Cumberland and Lynch parishes had a heart attack,
Fr. Imfeld was asked to help out for a couple of months. This "temporary"
assignment turned into a 22 year term as pastor at St. Stephen and Resurrection
Parishes. He then moved on to Ravena, where he was pastor at Saint Elizabeth
parish for nine years, and was instrumental in starting a parish in nearby
Stanton and building Our Lady of the Mountains Church.
Fr. Imfeld "retired" in the early 1990's and came to Sacred
Heart in Corbin at the request of Father Roger Arnsparger.
In retirement, he continued to be a very active part of Sacred Heart's
parish family. Funeral mass will be conducted by Father Mike Weglicki
at 11am Saturday, November 10, at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Interment
will be in the Calvary Cemetery in Lexington.
Visitation will be held from 4-7pm on Thursday and Friday at the Vankirk-Grisell
Funeral Home. A Rosary will be said at 6:30pm Thursday at the funeral