Rev. Msgr. John Howard Hebl

OXFORD — Rev. Msgr. John Howard Hebl, age 88, of Oxford, Wisconsin, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 11, 2024, at his home.

Msgr. Hebl was born on July 18, 1935, in Pomona, California, the son of Emil and Grace (Ehr) Hebl. He attended St. Mary Grade School in Portage and Queen of Apostles High School, in Madison.  After completing his studies at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee, he was ordained on May 27, 1961, at St. Raphael Cathedral in Madison by the late Bishop William P. O’Connor. He served his country from 1967 to 1973 as chaplain in the U.S. Air Force. Following the Vietnam War, he was appointed Chaplain to the Wisconsin Air National Guard, Madison; as liaison ANG Chaplain to the Strategic Air Command, Offutt Air Force Base, Omaha, NE; and finally, to the Pentagon where he was promoted to the grade of Brigadier General and assigned as Air National Guard Assistant to the Air Force Chief of Chaplains in Washington, DC.  He served during Desert Storm I and upon retirement was awarded the Legion of Merit.  Msgr. John did graduate studies at the University of California-Orange, UW-Oshkosh and UW-Madison earning a Masters and Doctorate degree under the GI Bill.  He served thirteen parishes as an associate, administrator and pastor; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monona; Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Sun Prairie;  Immaculate Conception, Kieler;  St. John the Baptist, Waunakee;  St. Barnabas, Mazomanie and St. John the Baptist, Mill Creek;  St. Stanislaus, Berlin;  Holy Redeemer, Madison;  St. Bernard, Madison;  St. Mary Help of Christians, Sullivan, linked with St. Mary, Palmyra;  and, in retirement, administrator for St. John the Baptist, Montello and Good Shepherd, Westfield.  His hobbies include trout fishing and golf.

He is survived by his sisters-in-law, Judith Hebl and Beverly Hebl; his nieces and nephews, Lisa A. Brennan, Mary C. Gardner, Thomas E. Hebl, Maureen E. Hebl, Patrice M. Hebl, Brian A. Hebl, Greg W. Hebl, Jeffrey R. Hebl, Diane L. Hebl, and Jeanne M. Hebl; and other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Robert and Donald; and a baby sister, Mary Ann Josephine Hebl.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 305 W. Cook St., Portage, Wisconsin, on Monday, March 18, 2024, at 11:00 a.m.  The Most Reverend Donald J. Hying, Bishop of Madison, will celebrate the Holy Mass, with The Reverend Monsignor James Gunn as homilist.  Visitation at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church will be held on Sunday, March 17th from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., with a Vesper Service held at 7:30 p.m., and on Monday from 9:00 a.m. until the Funeral Mass. Interment will follow in St. Mary Cemetery, Portage, with military graveside honors by the Portage Area Veterans Honor Guard.  A luncheon will follow in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Portage, WI; St. Ann’s Catholic Church, Brooks, WI; St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Wisconsin Dells, WI; or St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Pflanz Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage is assisting the family.