Date of death: 1/9/2007
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1940
Divine Word Father Otto Schellenberger, who served as a missionary in Papua New Guinea for many years, died at the Society of the Divine Word’s Chicago Province headquarters in Techny, IL. He was 92.The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Jan. 13 at Techny. Burial followed at the order’s cemetery there.Otto George Schellenberger was born on Sept. 2, 1914, in Georgetown.He went to the Divine Word order’s headquarters in Techny in 1932, and completed high school and two years of college.He professed his first vows on Aug. 6, 1937, and perpetual vows in 1941. He was ordained a priest on Aug. 15, 1942.In 1944, Father Schellenberger was one of 20 Divine Word priests assigned to serve as missionaries in Papua New Guinea to help counter Japanese influence during World War II. He traveled there with 7,000 American soldiers.He later earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and Master of Science degree in Education at Loyola University in Chicago.In Papua New Guinea, Father Schellenberger taught agriculture at Fatima College before being sent to Maramuni Valley to establish a church there.Also in Papua New Guinea, he helped build and manage a large dairy farm at Kellyville that earned honors.Father Schellenberger also served as dean of seminarians in Epping, interim director of the House of Prayer in Goroka and spiritual director of national seminarians in Port Moresby.He returned to Techny in May 2002.He is survived by a brother, Herb Schellenberger of Lanesville, IN. His late brother, Father Leo Schellenberger, a diocesan priest, died in 1987.Memorial gifts may be sent to the Society of the Divine Word, P.O. Box 6038, Techny, IL 60082Information obtained from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis newspaper, The Criterion, on 2/16/07.