Rev Gerard L. Poelker

Rev Gerard L. Poelker

Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Death 3 Aug 2009 (aged 91)
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Burial Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri, USA
Plot Diocesan Priests Lot
Memorial ID 40294935 · View Source
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MSGR. GERARD L. POELKER. age 91, was a Roman Catholic Priest in the Diocese of Jefferson City, MO and the Archdiocese of St. Louis. During his lengthy priestly career, he served in several Pastorates in the dioceses of Jefferson City and St. Louis (among them, Pastor of St. Joseph Cathedral in Jefferson City) and as Director of Education for the Diocese of Jefferson City.

The son of John and Anna (Bongner) Poelker of north St. Louis, Msgr. Gerard Poelker was a native of St. Liborius Parish in North St. Louis City. Both he and his priest brother Msgr. Carl C. Poelker studied at St. Liborius School, the Kenrick Latin High School and Kenrick Seminary. He was ordained by Archbishop John J. Glennon on March 21, 1942 at the New St. Louis Cathedral Basilica. Another brother, layman John Poelker, served as Mayor of the City of St. Louis for a number of years. All his siblings among the laity also demonstrated a similar faith committment maintained by the Poelker priest-brothers to the Roman Catholic Church.

Msgr. Gerard Poelker served in the Archdiocese of St. Louis until the partition of the Diocese of Jefferson City in 1956, when he was incardinated into the new diocese in mid-Missouri centered at the state capital, Jefferson City.

That same year, Jefferson City Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Marling named him the Administrator of the new Helias High School in Jefferson City, MO. In 1962,Pope John XXIII named him a Monsignor with the rank of Papal Chamberlain. He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus.

During his lengthy priestly career in mid-Missouri, he had some demanding assignments--among them, the fund-raising and construction of the new St. Joseph Cathedral in Jefferson City, replacing the "temporary" St. Peter's Church as diocesan cathedral near the state Capital building. Msgr. Poelker successfully completed St. Joseph Cathedral on time and within budget. He was widely respected by the Catholic community and general public in Jefferson City for this noteworthy accomplishment.

At the time of his death, he was in retirement at a private residence in Holts Summit, MO, a town near Jefferson City. During his retirement, he had continued to administer Sacraments, say Masses (including Latin Masses) in the Jefferson City diocese and elsewhere. When his infirmities became acute, he moved to the Mary Queen and Mother Nursing Home in Shrewsbury, MO, where he died on August 3, 2008.

After a concelebrated funeral Mass at St. Joseph Cathedral in Jefferson City on August 7, 2009, he was buried on the Diocesan Priests Lot at Resurrection Cemetery there.
Jefferson City Bishop John R. Gaydos eulogized him as a truly inspired priest, validated by the many who were in attendance as concelebrants or mourners that day.

He is widely remembered by many Catholics in both dioceses as a dynamic, spiritual, traditional hard-working and dedicated priest, who had one of the longest careers of active priestly service in the history of the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Missouri.

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Roman Catholic Priest, Diocese of Jefferson City and Archdiocese of St. Louis

Gravesite Details Roman Catholic Priest in Diocese of Jefferson City, MO

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  • Created by: Max S. Kaiser, Jr.
  • Added: 5 Aug 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 40294935
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Rev Gerard L. Poelker (1 Sep 1917–3 Aug 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 40294935, citing Resurrection Cemetery and Mausoleum, Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Max S. Kaiser, Jr. (contributor 46505928) .