Br. Edward J. McEachen, CSV, who retired in 1939 after 57 years of religious life, died June 21, 1947 in Columbus Hospital in Chicago, from injuries resulting from a fall. He was 94, and at the time, he was the oldest member of the Clerics of St. Viator in the Province of Chicago.

Br. McEachen was a native of Ontario, Canada. He first traveled to the western part of the United States in 1872, during the gold rush. At Baker City, OR, he became interested in the missionary work of the Viatorians, and he subsequently joined the order as a postulant in 1883.

He served as a missionary in Oregon for several years, before coming to Chicago in 1886. Br. McEachen professed his first vows on August 14, 1886 and spent his first assignment teaching at the Holy Name Cathedral Boys’ School until 1900.

For the next 20 years, Br. McEachen served at St. Viator College in Bourbonnais, overseeing the campus grounds, including looking after the trees, shrubbery, flowers and lawn.  In 1920, he moved to St. Viator Church in Chicago, where he lived in semi-retirement and served as sacristan of the church.

In 1939, Br. McEachen retired to the Viatorian novitiate in Lemont, IL until the novitiate moved to Bourbonnais in 1942. Br. McEachen lived in Bourbonnais until the fall of 1946 when St. Bernard Hall was sold and the older religious went to the Viatorian residence in Chicago. There, Br. McEachen observed his golden jubilee as a brother, in 1934.

Funeral services for Br. McEachen were held June 22, at St. Viator Church in Chicago.  The Rev. Thomas McCormick, CSV, celebrated the funeral Mass. The Rev. Michael Ranahan, CSV, assistant pastor at of St. Viator Church, was the master of ceremonies.  Members of the novitiate served as pallbearers and a choir consisting of novices was directed by Br. John Koelzer, CSV.

Following the services, the body was taken to Bourbonnais, where Br. McEachen was laid to rest in the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Cemetery. The Rev. Walter Surprenant, CSV, pastor of the church, officiated at the burial services.


Taken from an obituary news clipping dated June 21, 1947, source unknown and the obit from 1947 Annuaire, a publication of the Viatorian General Direction