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Brother Willett was founding principal of Gross

Brother D. Leo Willett

Marianist Brother D. Leo Willett, whose 71 years of service included seven years as founding principal of Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School in Bellevue, died Nov. 14 in San Antonio. He was 90.

A memorial Mass will be held at 4 p.m. Nov. 21 in the high school’s auditorium. His funeral Mass and burial will be Nov. 23 in St. Louis.

Involved in education for 40 years, Brother Willett was principal at Gross Catholic from 1967-1974. He also taught and was an administrator at five Marianist high schools in Missouri, Wisconsin and Texas, and served at the order’s provincialate in St. Louis, the novitiate in Dayton, Ohio, and a residence in San Antonio.

Brother Willett also helped found the National Catholic Guidance Conference in 1955 and served on the Omaha Archdiocesan School Board in the early 1970s.

Born in East St. Louis, Ill., he entered the Marianist novitiate in 1943 in Galesville, Wis. He professed final vows in 1948.

Brother Willett was preceded in death by parents James and Teresa Willett, and brother Eugene. He is survived by his niece, Donna Willett, O’Fallon, Ill., and numerous cousins.

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