Rev. Cecil Friedmann
Nov. 21, 1925 — April 15, 2018
Mass of Christian Burial for Rev. Cecil Friedmann will be celebrated at 11a.m., on Monday, April 23, 2018, at St. Cecelia Catholic Church with Bishop R. Walker Nickless officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Alton. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m., on Sunday, April 22, 2018, with a Knights of Columbus rosary at 4 p.m., and a wake service at 7 p.m., at the Friedmann Auditorium at Bishop Garrigan High School.
Father Cecil H. Friedmann, the youngest of six children born to Jacob and Catherine (Schneider) Friedmann, was born on Nov. 21, 1925, at Alton. After graduating from St. Mary’s High School in his home parish, he entered Trinity College in Sioux City and eventually pursued theological studies at St. Mary’s University and Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. One of his joys in seminary years was to be ordained to the deaconate in September of 1949, with classmates numbering 83, with Cardinal Lawrence Sheehan as the Ordaining Prelate. At the end of studies in Baltimore, the Most Reverend Joseph M. Mueller, ordained him a priest for the Diocese of Sioux City on June 3, 1950, in Sioux City, Iowa.
From the very beginning of his priestly career, Father’s prime interest was educational ministry. To further this aim, he pursued studies at Iowa State University, Ames, and graduate work at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where he earned a master’s degree in Educational Administration with an emphasis on American History.
Father’s educational ministry first involved teaching at Corpus Christi High School in Fort Dodge, followed by teaching and principalship at Gehlen High School in Le Mars, and next a 27-year tenure at Bishop Garrigan High School in Algona. In 1989, Father left the Algona system to enjoy sabbatical studies at the Catholic University of Louvain in Leuven, Belgium. Upon returning he served the parishes of St. Patrick’s in Sheldon, St. Cecelia in Sanborn and St. Joseph in Hartley. In July of 1995, he returned to Algona to spend his retirement years.
His interest in education was important in his retirement years. He kept interest in affairs at Bishop Garrigan High School, enjoyed music and athletic events, especially offering the liturgy for the football team prior to their games, as well as prayers before basketball games. The Iowa Athletic Association, through its Board of Control, granted an Administrative Award to Father in 1986, for his overall interest in athletic programs of the State of Iowa, a first for a non-public administrator in Iowa. In 2006, the Diocese of Sioux City honored him at the annual Bishop’s Dinner with the School Administrators Award. The Board of Bishop Garrigan High School gave and outstanding honor by naming the gym-auditorium in honor of Father Friedmann, today known as the Friedmann Auditorium. The city of Algona also commended him with a special recognition on Founder’s Day in July of 2014.
Over the years, Father served on a number of visitation teams for the North Central Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges, to assist schools in bettering the programs in their respective schools. He also served a number of years on the Sioux City Diocesan Board of Education. For a number of years, he was a member of the select committee for the congressman of his district to select nominees to West Point Military Academy, the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., and the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. This committee service gave him opportunity to meet future military leaders in their appointments to an Academy of their choice. In spite of his administrative duties, he enjoyed contact with students. Fondly he remembered an occasion when in retirement a student told him: “You are always there for us kids.”
Father loved to travel. He made many trips abroad, particularly to Germany to visit exchange students. As a student of history, his travels took him to many battle sites of World War II. In this country, his favorite mode of travel was Amtrak, especially the Empire Builder that cruises through Rocky Mountain scenery.
Rev. Cecil Friedmann died Sunday, April 15, 2018, at the Kossuth Regional Health Center in Algona. He was 92.
Left to cherish his memory are 10 nieces and nephews and their families as well as many friends and former students.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Joseph and Raymond; sisters, Connie, Sister De Ricci, O.S.F. and Lillian.