Mass of Christian burial will be at 11 a.m., Monday, May 1, 2023, at Divine Mercy Catholic Parish - St. Michael Church in Whittemore, IA with Bishop R. Walker Nickless officiating and other concelebrating priests in the Sioux City Diocese. Burial will follow at St. Michael Cemetery in Whittemore, IA. Visitation will be 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Monday at the church.
Friday April 28 visitation will be 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. with a Vigil Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday Memorial Mass 10 a.m., all at All Saints Parish - St. Joseph Catholic Church in Le Mars. Visitation will resume 1 hour before the Memorial Mass on Saturday at the church.
Sunday visitation will be 12:00 - 2:00 p.m. with a Knights of Columbus rosary at 2:00 p.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Remsen, IA. Services have been entrusted to Fisch Funeral Home & Monument in Remsen. Condolences may be sent online to www.fischfh.com.
Paul Francis Eisele was born April 19, 1942, to Frank and Inez (Schwarzenbach) Eisele in Whittemore, Iowa. He attended Presentation Academy in Whittemore until becoming a member of the first senior class at the new Garrigan High School in Algona, graduating in 1960.
His family had a great devotion to St. Isidore. As a boy, Paul faced life-threatening surgery. A bystander gave him a relic of St. Isidore and the family attributed his miraculous recovery to the saint’s intercession. His father built a St. Isidore shrine on the family farm in thanksgiving.
He attended Loras College and Mount St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa and earned master's degrees from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Indiana.
During the summers of 1960 through 1963 he was a tour guide at the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa.
Father Eisele was ordained on June 1, 1968, by Bishop Joseph Mueller at the Cathedral of the Epiphany in Sioux City, becoming the 13th priestly vocation from tiny St. Michael’s Parish in Whittemore. He served as a priest for nearly 55 years. Father Eisele’s love of his Lord Jesus and his people was evident in his reverent administration of Mass and the Sacraments.
He taught vocal music and religion, and served as principal and pastor or parochial vicar in the following schools and parishes: Bishop Heelan Catholic High School, Sioux City; St. Mary’s Parish, Remsen; St. Mary’s High School, Remsen; St. Joseph’s Parish, Bode; Bishop Garrigan High School, Algona; St. Cecelia Parish, Algona; St. Mary’s Parish, Alton; St. Anthony’s Parish, Hospers; Spalding Catholic Schools, Granville, Alton and Hospers; St. James Parish, Le Mars; Gehlen Catholic Schools, Le Mars; St. John the Baptist Parish, Quimby.
Father Eisele retired to Le Mars in 2015 and greatly enjoyed offering noon Mass at St. James, parish events, helping the choirs at Gehlen, guiding the music at the Le Mars Community Theater, and visits of friends and family at his church-side condo.
His interests were varied and intense. He thrived on traveling the United States and Europe, with a special place in his heart for all things Disney. He loved plants and flowers, latch hook and cross stitch, art and theater, sports and history, vacationing and ministering, and sharing great food and the chemistry set. He came from a musical family who played at barn dances, and he cultivated that heritage extensively, sharing his talents with countless students, old and young. He was close to his brother priests and deacons and kept in contact with many of his former seminary classmates, students, and school colleagues. To know “Fr. E” was to become endeared to “Fr. E,” aka “Padre.”
He is survived by his brother, Robert, and sister-in-law, Judy, and their children, Carol (Jack) Pentlarge, Tom (Carissa), and Susan (Justin) Whitehouse, three great nieces, one great nephew, and many cousins.
Father Eisele was preceded in death by his parents.
Casket bearers will be Deacons in the Sioux City Diocese.