November 10, 1929 ~ February 23, 2010
Reverend Father James R. Schleicher Pastor Emeritus of St. Francis de Sales died with Christ on February 23rd after being on kidney dialysis for almost four years. Father was ordained a priest for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese on December 18 1954. Born in Chicago he was preceded in death by his parents William and Viola Schleicher his brother William and his priest friends and mentors Fr. Diederich and Fr. Byrider. He is survived by his sister Vivian (Norman) Fox (whose home was always his) and his beloved nieces and nephews: Mary Lynn Frieg James (Meghan) Fox Gregory (Michelle) Fox Norm Fox Jr. and Steven Fox and sister-in-law Rosemary Schleicher with her children John Leo Joe Tesie Mary and Anne. Father Schleicher's dedication and love for the priesthood had no boundaries. He wanted to ''go out with his boots on'' and that he did! In retirement he continued to serve St. Francis de Sales where he had been pastor from 1974 - 2008. He celebrated his last mass on Sunday February 21st with great joy. His final homily was full of his stories that made you laugh and cry and always there was that message. This one: ''I can do all things in Him who gives me strength.'' Indeed God did give him the strength to endure the dialysis three times a week. Taking up his cross Father offered his dialysis treatments as Holy Hours for his beloved parishioners family and friends. His first assignment was St. Mary's (Akron). Other assignments included St. Bernard's (Akron) St. Bartholomew's (Middleburg Heights) and St. Sebastian's (Akron). Father was an avid Cleveland sports fan. While he loved to watch his Browns and Indians he himself was an accomplished athlete excelling in baseball (giving his older brother credit for his mentoring and once played in Rigley Field for the Chicago City Championship) basketball and especially golf. When evening came it was gin rummy. He was even a master at the cards. He loved dogs and it seemed that all dogs loved him. .He had a special affinity for his Patti (1 and 2) his faithful black labs. He often laughed at how the school children -'' the heart of the parish'' - would see him walking his dog and totally ignore him as they called ''Hi Patti.'' His love for music especially Jo Stafford and Vaughn Monroe - that 40's music brought one and all great pleasure as he would break into song with great gusto. He knew all the words and songs. He could name that tune in a flash and you would be owing him a quarter! Most of all he loved God and his life as a priest always encouraging religious vocations. He felt that his own vocation had come from attending daily mass with his maternal grandmother Belle Dorsey. During his pastorate 6 men became priests 2 became deacons and 3 women became religious sisters. Currently there are three young men in the seminary. His hope for you is that you will talk to God 10 minutes every day receive the sacraments and attend Mass as often as possible (all 40 days of Lent). ''I have fought the good fight I have finished the race I have kept the faith.'' 2Tim 4:7. Special thanks to Fr. David Bline Fr. Anthony Suso Dr. Al and Cathy Feltrup the Scott Family the Fresenius Dialysis Staff of Green Kathy Meyer and those who cared for him during his final days and of course his beloved family and parishioners for their prayers love and support . Additional thanks to Fr. James Vesely for being there all these years. In lieu of flowers donations to Father Schleicher's favorite charities are suggested: St. Vincent de Paul Society (St. Francis de Sales) Fr. James Schleicher Seminarian Scholarship or for Catholic Faith Formation (St. Francis de Sales). Vigil and Reception will be held at the parish Sunday February 28th from 2:00 -7:00 pm with Vespers celebrated at 3:00 pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday March 1st at 11:00 am. St. Francis de Sales Parish 4019 Manchester Rd. Akron Ohio. Rite of Committal at Holy Cross Cemetery Cleveland following the Mass. Per Father Schleicher's request no flowers will be accepted.