Father Edward A. Koechel, MM
Born: December 28, 1912
Ordained: June 14, 1938
Died: January 1, 1975
Father Edward A. Koechel died the evening of New Year’s Day, 1975, at Merida, Yucatan, Mexico.
Father Koechel was born December 28, 1912 in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from Brooklyn Preparatory Seminary. Entering Maryknoll in 1931, he was ordained June 14, 1938. He spent the first two years of his priesthood at Mountain View, California; was assigned to Japan in 1940, interned at the outbreak of war, and repatriated on the Gripsholm in September 1942. Assigned in October 1942 as Group Superior with the first group of Maryknollers going to Quintana Roo, Mexico, he attended the Eucharistic Congress at Merida with Bishop James E. Walsh in November 1942.
He remained in the work in Mexico for the remainder of his life, serving as Middle America Regional Society Superior starting in 1950, Chapter Delegate from Mexico to the Fifth General Chapter in 1966, First Consultor in the Mexico Region for the term beginning in 1967, and in other posts. In recent years, he had been Financial Assistant for the Region at the Merida Society House, and had conducted his duties in the careful and meticulous way which was characteristic of him. Father Andrew Cassidy, Regional Superior in Mexico, reported on the telephone last night that the wake for him would undoubtedly continue throughout the night, so large a number of people wanted to pay tribute to him after his many years of service in Mexico.
Mass of the Resurrection for Father Koechel was celebrated Thursday, January 2 at 3 p.m. at Saint Sebastian’s Parish in Merida. Burial will follow at Merida. A Mass for Father Koechel was also celebrated the same day at his home parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, Malverne, L. I. , New York. A Mass for Father Koechel was celebrated at the Maryknoll Chapel at Maryknoll on Saturday, January 4.