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Father William Horath PDF Print E-mail

Father William Horath, age 81, passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

Fr. Bill served in the Diocese of Superior since his ordination to the priesthood on June 15, 1975.

He was ordained to the Sacred Order of the Priesthood, by Most Reverend George Hammes, at Immaculate Conception Church in Rhine­lander on June 15, 1975.  He became the Assistant Pastor of St. Joseph Church in Rice Lake in July of 1975.

Fr. Bill was the Local Director of the marriage Preparation Class from February 1978 to 1980. In July of 1980, he became the Pastor of St. Pius X Church, Solon Springs, St. Anthony of Padua Church, Gordon, and St. Mary Church, Minong.

Also in July of 1980, he became the chaplain of the Knights of Columbus Council #6586, Solon Springs.

Fr. Bill was Defender of the Bond, Tribunal Office, and Diocese of Superior. In November of 1989, he became Pastor of St. Anne Church, Boulder Junction, St. Mary Church, Sayner and St. Rita Church, Presque Isle.

In June of 1994, he became the Pastor at St. Theresa Church, Three Lakes.  He was the Temporary Parochial Administrator at St. Kunegunda of Poland Church, Sugar Camp in November of 1998.  In November of 1999, he became the Pastor of St. Theresa Church, Three Lakes and St. Kunegunda of Poland, Sugar Camp.

Fr. Bill leaves two priest brothers, Fr. George Horath of Fennimore, Fr. James Horath of Mosinee and one sister, Mary Joan Boyle, of Chicago, and her family, as well as many dear friends.

So treasured by Fr. Bill were the communities of Three Lakes and Sugar Camp that he considered them his family.  Through the years, Fr. Bill spoke of parish, sporting and community events that he enjoyed attending.

For the past several years, Fr. Bill enjoyed wearing a new hat — that of Three Lakes and Sugar Camp Fire Department Chaplain. Fr. Bill took this calling very seriously and spoke often of the privilege of praying and comforting area residents in their time of need.

As Fr. Bill’s illness became more critical and he could not return home, he insisted on living close to Three Lakes and Sugar Camp so that he could still be alerted to the ambulance and fire calls via his official pager and though he could not go personally to those in need, he could “still pray for them from my bed.”

Fr. Bill will be remembered as a kind and gentle soul; his kindness was a reflection of his love for God’s people and the goodness showed to him by the people of Three Lakes and Sugar Camp. He touched these communities in special, blessed ways and in turn, his life was rich with many who loved him.

Gaffney-Busha Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Visitation will be at St. Theresa Church, Three Lakes, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014, from 3 to 7 p.m. and again on Thursday, May 22, 2014, from 10 a.m. to the time of Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Interment will be at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery in Merrill.

Gifts of remembrance may be made to the Diocese of Superior Seminarian Fund.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Mary and William Horath; his brother-in-law, Robert Boyle; and an infant brother, Robert Horath.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Arrangements by Gaffney-Busha Funeral Home in Eagle River, Wis.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014 12:41 PM


+1 #5 2014-06-04 17:48
Fr. Bill was our family treasure for over 20 years. When mom and dad moved up to Eagle River; they went to one of his masses and just were so inspired. He was there for both mom and dad when they passed and was such a comfort. He made a difference - may we all be able to say that. I won't ever forget him.
+1 #4 2014-05-23 06:26
Fr. Bill will always have a special place in my heart. When my family bought a cottage on Laurel Lake in 1995, we attended Mass each Sunday at St. Teresa's during the Summer months. Fr. Bill's Mass was always a beautiful one and we will always remember the closing to his Homily's "God Love You, God Bless you." As I grew older and moved to FL to begin my career at a VA Hospital, it was very touching to return to Mass at St. Teresa's and have Fr. Bill lead the congregation in 3 Hail Mary's at the end of Mass for "Our Country's Troops". Fr. Bill's gentle, kind, and caring soul will always be remembered.
+1 #3 2014-05-21 16:08
We remember Fr Bill very fondly. He was a great man, a treasure for his parish families. He was very reverent and faithful religious leader. Our prayers are with his family. We will never forget him. God bless and keep him close.
+1 #2 2014-05-21 04:49
Father Bill came to Rice Lake a few years before my youngest brother took his life, and he comforted my family members...
Within a year my mother died of a heart attack, and he was there again for us, celebrating her funeral Mass.
I will never forget him! May God reward him.
+1 #1 2014-05-21 04:45
Father Bill came to Rice Lake, a few years before my youngest brother took his life, and he comforted my parents...
Within a year, my mother died of a heart attack, and Father Bill was there again for our family members!
I will never forget his compassion at that time. May God reward him!!

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