Fr. Gary Klauer OFM Conv, the former Pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 in San Pablo, California. Fr. Gary has a lot of roots in the South Bay. He attended St. Catherine Laboure Elementary School in Torrance and also served as an altar boy there. He graduated Bishop Montgomery High School in 1963. He also taught at Bishop Montgomery from 1975-1988. He was the hospital chaplain at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance from 1988-1997, and our pastor from 1997-2006.
We all know Fr. Gary was the biggest Dodgers Kings and Lakers Fan and always Bishop Montgomery’s Football Teams biggest supporter every year, no matter where he was. He was inducted into the Bishop Montgomery Hall of fame in 2001 for his many years of teaching and support of the school. Fr. Gary had the phenomenal capacity to remember everyone’s birthday and if he celebrated your wedding the date of your anniversary as well as the baptism of your children. Also he always knew how to figure out when the dates for Easter would be and how many full moons in a year!!! We will miss this very special priest but we were all blessed to have Fr. Gary in our lives. Rest in Peace.
Below is the full text as posted by the Conventual Franciscans:
+Fr. Gary Klauer, OFM Conv. (1945-2014)
With great sadness the Conventual Franciscan friars of St. Joseph of Cupertino Province announce the passing of +Fr. Gary Klauer, Vicar Provincial. He would have been 69 on June 22. For the past few months, Fr. Gary had been suffering from a liver condition. He felt well enough to travel to the Philippines recently for the profession of religious vows for two novices from our mission in Vietnam. During a cruise following the profession, he suddenly fell ill and was sent to a hospital in Vietnam. He was then flown back to the United States under the care of medical personnel from Vietnam and arrived back to a hospital in his home city of San Pablo, CA. It was there that he passed away on the 22nd of April 2014.
He was born in Los Angeles, CA in 1945 and graduated from Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, CA in 1963. He joined the Conventual Franciscan friars who taught at the high school. He professed his first vows in 1966 and solemn vows in 1969. He attended Loyola University in Chicago and was sent for theological studies toToronto, Canada. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 5, 1975. (He observed his 39th anniversary of ordination while in the hospital in Vietnam with the local Vietnamese Franciscan community at his bedside.) He taught at Bishop Montgomery High School from 1975-1988. He then ministered as a hospital chaplain at Little Company of Mary Hospital, Torrance, CA. from 1988 to 1997. During those two assignments he also served as the local superior of St. Bonaventure Friary, Torrance. Fr. Gary served as pastor and superior of the community at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Hermosa Beach, CA from 1997-2007. He was pastor and guardian of St. Paul the Apostle Church, San Pablo, CA from 2007 to the present. He has also served as the Vicar Provincial of St. Joseph of Cupertino Province since 2005.
Fr. Gary was a founding member of the California Province of the Franciscans when it was formed in 1981. He was an avid sports fan and could boast of seeing a baseball game at virtually every stadium which hosted major league baseball. He was also known to travel to South Bend, IN just to attend a Notre Dame football game. He always showed great appreciation for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny who taught him at St. Catherine Laboure parish elementary school in Torrance. Fr. Gary celebrated the baptisms, weddings and funerals for countless Bishop Montgomery alumni and was a regular, enthusiastic presence at athletic events and homecoming games. Fr. Gary was also known for his phenomenal capacity to remember everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries. In 2001, he was among the first to be inducted into the Bishop Montgomery Hall of Fame for his many years of teaching and support of the school.
Fr. Gary is survived by his siblings Sally Wright, Diane Kurz (Jerry), Patricia Klauer, Joe Klauer (Arlette) and Barbara Redmond (Richard) and many, caring Franciscan brothers. Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, April 29 at 7:00 p.m. (viewing at 6:30 p.m.) at St. Catherine Laboure Church in Torrance. A reception will be held for all following the Mass. Fr. Gary will be laid to rest in the Province’s cemetery in Arroyo Grande, CA on Wednesday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m.