Fr. John Milton, CSV, would have celebrated 70 years as a Viatorian in September and 65 years as a priest. He was among the inaugural class of brothers to profess first vows at the Province Center in Arlington Heights and he lived out his vows through his long and productive life.
He passed away Jan. 24 at the age of 92.
All but five years of Fr. Milton’s active ministry were spent teaching physics. He was a founding member of the science department at Saint Viator High School, where he taught for 20 years, and he spent another 24 years as a professor at De Paul University in Chicago. He started his career at Cathedral Boys’ High School in Springfield, before short assignments at Spalding Institute in Peoria and Bishop McNamara High School in Kankakee.
Upon his retirement in 2011, Fr. Milton served as a science consultant to faculty members at Cristo Rey St. Martin College Prep, where he helped obtain lab equipment through his network of physics colleagues and helped to start the school’s first AP physics course. Students and faculty members alike enjoyed the projects he brought to the class, including one standout, “When Pigs Fly.”
When the school moved to its new, larger campus in 2018, all the science classrooms were located in one wing, with space for AP chemistry and biology. Fr. Milton encouraged science teachers to stake out their new space and plan to have as much storage as possible for all of their science equipment.
Beyond teaching, Fr. Milton also lived out his vows as a Viatorian by his devotion to the holy altar. After retirement, he rotated with his confreres in offering daily Mass and he also was a regular celebrant at St. Zachary Parish in nearby Des Plaines, IL.
Fr. Milton continued to participate with state and national physics associations, and when asked about his passion for teaching physics, he said simply: “Being around young people keeps me young.”
Services are pending.