Deacon Mines had a servant’s heart

Deacon John Mines was described by a former pastor as a positive man with a passion for preaching and a servant’s heart.

“He had a great love of the Church and the Mass – very much his complete identity,” said Father Dan Andrews, who served with the deacon while pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk.

Deacon Mines died Jan. 1 in Norfolk. He was 72.

A funeral Mass was held Jan. 5 at St. Mary Church with burial at Prospect Hill Cemetery, both in Norfolk.

Born in Yankton, South Dakota, he attended grade school at the former Ss. Peter and Paul School in Bow Valley before attending high school at St. Lawrence Seminary in Mount Calvary, Wisconsin. He began college at St. Thomas Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota, and transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

After marrying in 1973, Deacon Mines and his wife, Mavis, moved to Omaha where he worked as an accountant. They then moved to Crofton, where he managed the Fordyce Co-op. In 1985, he began to farm with his uncle near Bow Valley. Beginning in 2000, he worked as an accountant for the Hartington Telephone Co. until his retirement in 2014, when he and his wife moved to Norfolk.

He was ordained a deacon in 2010 while a member of Holy Family Parish in Cedar County, serving that parish as a lector and business manager. His wife served on the parish’s liturgy group, and together, they served as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, as members of the Rosary prayer group and conducted marriage preparation.

Upon his ordination, Deacon Mines told the Catholic Voice: “The diaconate has been a truly spiritual journey, an honor and an opportunity to feel the Holy Spirit work in our lives. We wish to share all of our Catholic faith that has been placed deeper in our hearts.”

While serving Sacred Heart Parish in Norfolk, marriage preparation remained a major focus of the couple’s ministry, said Father Andrews, now director and pastor of the St. John Paul II Newman Center in Omaha. “Because of their own marriage story, he and his wife had an extra passion for helping couples.”

Deacon Mines was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard and Edelwalda; brothers Donald Mines and Robert Mines; and brother and sister-in-law Dennis and Shirley Mines.

He is survived by his wife, Mavis; children and spouses, Cory and Audrey Mines of Seward, Amy and Rob Brown of Norfolk, Kayla and Jon Hoesing of Pierce, and Matthew and Berenice Mines of Bennington; siblings and spouses, Martin and Alice Mines of Gardena, California, Rosemary Haas of Omaha, Rita and Rao Boppana of Playa Del Rey, California, Muriel and Ed Krone of Sioux City, and Jackie and Randy Willis of Saint Paul, Minnesota.; 10 grandchildren; numerous nieces and nephews.

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