RINGWOOD, N.J. — A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct. 24 at Holy Name Friary for Hugh Eller, OFM, who died there on Oct. 21. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, presided and gave the homily. Burial followed at Mount Calvary Cemetery in nearby Butler.
Hugh, 88, was a Franciscan for 66 years and a priest for 61.
Hugh was born in Elizabeth, N.J., on Sept. 11, 1926, to Peter and Nora and baptized Norbert at the Church of the Sacred Heart in Elizabeth. After attending the parish’s grammar and high schools, he studied at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., from 1944 to 1947.
Hugh was received into the Order on Aug. 12, 1947, at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., where he professed his first vows the following year. After studying philosophy at St. Stephen’s Friary, Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony Friary, Butler, he received his bachelor’s in philosophy in 1950. He then went on to study theology at Holy Name College, Washington, D.C., where he professed solemn vows in 1951. Hugh was ordained in 1953.
After teaching at Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., from 1954 to 1958, Hugh pursued graduate studies at the Antonianum in Rome. He received his doctorate in philosophy in 1963.
From 1963 to 1967, Hugh taught philosophy at St. Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H. He was then assigned to St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y., where he taught and worked in campus ministry for the next 13 years.
In 1980, he was assigned to St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, where he served as associate until 1992. He was then assigned to St. Francis Chapel in Providence, R.I., ministering as parochial vicar until 2006. Retiring to St. Anthony Friary in Butler in 2006, Hugh was transferred to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood in 2012.
Hugh is survived by his brother, John Eller of Hillside, N.J., and a sister, Helen Corning of Cranford, N.J.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York, NY, 10001.
— Compiled by Carolyn Croke and Jocelyn Thomas