A funeral Mass was celebrated for Father Theodore X. Pieper Oct. 21 at St. Joachim Church in Old Mines. Father Pieper served as pastor there for more than a quarter of a century, and earlier in the Bolivian missions.
Father Pieper died Oct. 18. He was 82 years old.
Born in St. Louis, he attended St. Louis Preparatory Seminary, Cardinal Glennon College and Kenrick Seminary. Cardinal Joseph E. Ritter ordained him to the priesthood in 1962 at the St. Louis Cathedral (now Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis).
His first assignment was assistant pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Festus. In 1965, he was asked to serve in the archdiocese's Latin America Apostolate, serving in the Bolivian missions. He served there until 1978, when he was named associate pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Florissant.
In 1981, he was called to return to Bolivia, where he remained for another six years. In 1987, he was assigned as pastor of St. Joachim Parish in Old Mines, where he served for 26 years. He also was administrator of St. Joseph Parish in Tiff.
In 2013, he was granted retirement and moved into a private residence. In 2016, he became a retired priest in residence at Holy Trinity Parish in St. Ann.
Father Pieper was known for his care in visiting those at nursing homes, hospitals and residences. He also regularly celebrated Mass at the Potosi Correctional Center. He was known for his acts of love and charity, hard work in manual labor, his many hats and constant smile and goodwill.
He is survived by a brother, Jerry Pieper of O'Fallon. Burial was in the cemetery at St. Joachim.