Father Raymond J. Pedretti, at the age of 89 and a priest for 62 years, died Thursday May 10, 2018 at his home on Brice Prairie in the Township of Onalaska.
Raymond Joseph Pedretti was born on December 28, 1928 in Genoa, Wisconsin to Albert and Helen (Venner) Pedretti. He attended Mound Ridge Elementary School in Genoa and Salvatorian Seminary in Saint Nazianz, Wisconsin for high school and two years of college. He completed his Bachelors of Arts degree in philosophy at Saint Francis Seminary in Milwaukee and went to Saint John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts for theology. On February 2, 1956, he was ordained a priest at Christ the King Chapel in Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse by the Most Reverend John P. Treacy.
Father Pedretti’s first assignment began six weeks after ordination as an Assistant at Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Wisconsin Rapids. After three years, he also became a part-time instructor at Assumption High School in Wisconsin Rapids. At the start of the 1962 school year, Father Pedretti became a full-time instructor at Assumption High School. In June of 1965, he became the administrator of Holy Rosary Parish in the Township of Sigel while continuing to teach full-time at Assumption High School. In the summers of 1964 and 1967 he attended the Pastoral Institute at Loyola University. He served as the Assistant Principal for the last two years of his eleven years of teaching at Assumption High School. He was appointed a Diocesan Consultor in February of 1966. In June of 1968 he was assigned as instructor of Latin at Holy Cross Seminary in La Crosse and spent the summer of 1968 refreshing his Latin skills at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. On June 1, 1970, Father Pedretti became the Associate Pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Richland Center and Sacred Heart Mission in Lone Rock. At the end of 1971, he was elected to the Priest Senate for a two-year term and appointed as a Diocesan Consultor in February of 1972. In October of 1977, he was assigned as Pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Richland Center and also appointed the Dean of the Richland Center Deanery. On July 2, 1979, Father Pedretti was appointed Pastor of St. Mary, Help of Christians Parish in Colby. In July of 1984, he was assigned Pastor at St. Mary (Immaculate Conception) Parish in Tomah. He was assigned Pastor of St. Mary Parish in Galesville in May of 1987, then, eleven months later, also the Pastor of Most Sacred Heart Parish in Pine Creek. In April of 1991, he was appointed as Dean of Arcadia Deanery; he was reappointed and served as Dean there until 1996. On October 12, 1994, he was assigned Pastor of St. Stanislaus Parish and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Arcadia. In October of 1995, Father Pedretti was appointed to the Personnel Council.
On June 26, 2000 he was granted senior priest status. He moved to the rectory of St. Mary of Mount Carmel Parish in Fancher to help his brother, Father Robert Pedretti; in February of 2010, he then moved to into his new home on Brice Prairie.
Father Raymond Pedretti was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Jean (David) Flotmeyer, and his brother Dennis (Catherine) Pedretti. He is survived by his siblings Lucille Pedretti, Rita (Arthur) Llorca, Rev. Robert Pedretti, and Earl (Ruth) Pedretti, his sister-in-law Cate Pedretti, and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by Rita Witkowski, his housekeeper of 34 years.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Patrick Church in Onalaska on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. The Most Reverend William Patrick Callahan will be the main celebrant and Reverend John L. Parr with be the homilist. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery.
Visitation will be held at St. Patrick Church on Tuesday, May 15 from 4:00-8:00 p.m., with Evening Prayer from the Office of the Dead at 7:30 p.m.
The Diocese of La Crosse and the family are being assisted by Coulee Region Cremation Group in Onalaska.