Published December 22, 2016
CINCINNATI, Ohio—Father August “Gus” Guppenberger, 81, a native of Batavia, New York, and a Glenmary Home Missioner for 59 years, died Nov. 6 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Father Gus brought his outgoing personality to missions and ministries in five states—Ohio, North Carolina, Texas, Georgia and Kentucky. Along with his ministerial efforts, Father Gus was known for his white beard and a joyful demeanor that allowed him to play Santa Claus for children each winter.
“Father Gus was a man who bestowed and received the joy of the Gospel,” Glenmary president Father Chet Artysiewicz said. “He delighted that he was able to elicit joyful responses through his Santa Claus portrayal. And throughout his travels, the people and customs he encountered touched him with joyful gratitude.”
Father Gus professed his First Oath as a Glenmarian in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1961.
During his years of ministry, he served in various parishes in North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Kentucky, and in Georgia at St. Luke Church, Dahlonega, Waynesboro, Statesboro, Cleveland and Sylvania.
In 1990 Father Gus returned to Cincinnati to serve in the mission office. For years after serving in this capacity, Father Gus held the record for most mission appeals by any Glenmary missioner. From 1998 until 2004 he served as assistant house director of the Glenmary residence. His last assignment before taking senior membership in late 2004 was as Mission Cooperation program coordinator for the Mission Education Ministry Office.
Father Gus was the sixth of seven children born to August and Mary Guppenberger. His parents preceded him in death. He is survived by his brothers and sisters, fellow missioners and friends.
The Mass of Christian Burial for Father Gus was celebrated Nov. 15 at St. Matthias Catholic Church, Cincinnati.
Memorials may be made to Glenmary Home Missioners, P.O. Box 465618, Cincinnati, Ohio 45246 or at www.glenmary.org.