Rev. William J. Neidhart, C.S.C.

Rev. William J. Neidhart, C.S.C.
January 3, 1924-January 22, 2020

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Rev. William J. Neidhart, C.S.C., 96, died on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, at Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind.

Watch the Funeral Mass here on Wednesday, January 29 at 3:30 p.m. ET

Fr. Neidhart was born to Alois and Augusta (Deppen) Neidhart on January 3, 1924 in Fort Wayne, Ind. He attended St. Mary Grade School and Central Catholic High School, both in Fort Wayne. Upon graduation in 1941 he was too young for the draft so he worked a few jobs until he entered the Army Air Corps in 1943. He was sent to England as clerk for the transport division keeping track of soldiers sent by plane to fight in France and Germany. Armed with his well-oiled typewriter, Fr. Bill was a member of the famed “Remington’s Rangers.”

In 1945, he entered Notre Dame on the G.I. Bill, and graduated with a degree in accounting in 1949. On August 15 of that summer, he received the Holy Cross habit at the Novitiate on Miami Road and made First Vows a year and a day later on August 16, 1950.

After two years of philosophy studies at Moreau Seminary, Fr. Neidhart moved to Washington, D.C., to study theology at Holy Cross College. On June 6, 1956, he was ordained a priest in Sacred Heart Church, Notre Dame, Ind.

His first assignment was at the newly opened Notre Dame High School in Niles, Ill. He taught business and religion and assisted at nearby parishes. In 1960, he moved to Moreau Seminary as assistant superior and director of the brothers’ formation program. He also taught at Holy Cross Seminary while earning an MBA from Notre Dame in 1962. In 1963, he began work at Ave Maria Press as assistant to the publisher and in 1966 added chaplain of Columba Hall to his duties. The next year, Fr. Bill was assigned to Sacred Heart Parish, Notre Dame as an assistant. In 1968, he became pastor of Holy Cross Parish, South Bend, Ind., and remained there until 1978, when he was assigned as pastor to Little Flower Parish, South Bend, Ind. In 1987, Fr. Bill was sent west to St. Francis Xavier Parish in Burbank, Calif., where he was pastor until 1996. In 1996, he moved to Granger, Ind., where he assisted at Pius X. He moved to St. Joseph Parish, South Bend, Ind., in 2001, and was there until 2006, when he then moved to Fatima House, Notre Dame, Ind. He entered Holy Cross House, Notre Dame, Ind. in 2012.

Preceding him in death are his parents Alois and Augusta Neidhart, his brother, Robert (Harriet) Neidhart, and his sister, Donna Stambaugh. He is survived by many nieces and nephews and extended family.

Visitation will be from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 28, 2020, at Moreau Seminary, Notre Dame, Ind., where there will be a Wake Service at 7:30 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 3:30 p.m. Burial will be in the community cemetery at Notre Dame. Kaniewski Funeral Home, South Bend, is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorial contributions in support of the mission and ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross can be made to: United States Province of Priests and Brothers, Office of Development, P.O. Box 765, Notre Dame, IN 46556-0765 or online at

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