MT. VERNON — —
Father Wilbert John “Bert” Iffert, 88, of Mt. Vernon, died at 6:05 a.m. Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Mt. Vernon Countryside Manor in Mt. Vernon.
He was born Thursday, Dec. 20, 1923, in Wendelin in Clay County, the son of William and Barbara Catherine (Kuhl) Iffert.
The Rev. Wilbert J. “Bert” Iffert was born in Wendelin on Dec. 20, 1923. He grew up in Belleville and Wendelin. After high school, he entered the Society of Mary (1941), completed a B.A. in Education at the University of Dayton and taught high school in San Antonio and St. Louis. After completing seminary studies at the St. Louis Preparatory Seminary and St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., Father Iffert was ordained a priest of Jesus Christ on June 3, 1952, to serve the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville. This past June hundreds of friends, family members and parishioners joined Father Iffert to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his ordination.
As a priest, Father Bert Iffert taught at Mater Dei High School in Breese and served in several parish assignments, including Sacred Heart, DuQuoin, Our Lady of Good Counsel, Renault, St. Pius V. Walsh, St. Edward, Fairfield, St. Mary, Harrisburg and St. Joseph, Equality. After retirement, Father Bert moved to Mt. Vernon, where he assisted at St. Mary Parish and St. Mary’s/Good Samaritan Hospital. During those 23 years in Mt. Vernon, he offered Mass at more than a dozen parishes and assisted the pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church faithfully. Father Iffert also helped found several Alcoholics Anonymous Chapters throughout Southern Illinois and ministered to prisoners in local correction facilities. He was a member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon and a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus.
Known to many people in Mt. Vernon simply as “Fr. Bert”, Father never met a stranger. He was known to hear Confessions and grant absolution in McDonald’s or Hardees and visited every parent and child at the local Denny’s Restaurant. In his golden years, Fr. Bert considered everyone his “sweetheart” and reminded each one, “God loves you.” Fr. Bert is an elder cousin to Fr. John Iffert, the current pastor of St. Mary Catholic Church, Mt. Vernon. Fr. John will preside and preach at his cousin’s Funeral Mass on Monday at 10:30 a.m.
He is survived by niece, Catherine D. Iffert Carman and husband Eric of Topeka, Kan. and several cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Florian Iffert.
A rosary service will be held at 8:30 a.m. Monday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon. Funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon with Father John Iffert officiating. Graveside service will be held at 3 p.m. Monday at Holy Cross Cemetery in Wendelin.
A vigil service with reception of the body will be at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon. Visitation will follow from 4 to 8 p.m. at the church and a Knights of Columbus Chalice Service will be conducted at 7:30 a.m. at the church.
For those who wish, memorials may be given to the St. Mary Catholic School or St. Mary Catholic Church Building Fund and will be accepted at the funeral home or mailed to Hughey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 721, Mt. Vernon, IL 62864.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Hughey Funeral Home where you may call 242-3348 or visit www.hugheyfuneralhome1969.com for further information and to send condolences.