Jesuit Father Eugene E. Grollmes died on July 23, 2014, in St. Louis. He was 82 years old and a Jesuit for nearly 63 years. Born in Seneca, Kansas, on Nov. 9, 1931, Fr. Grollmes entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri, on Aug. 8, 1951. He completed a B.A. in philosophy at Saint Louis University in 1957. After teaching history at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Missouri, from 1958 to 1960, Fr. Grollmes earned an M.A. in American and European history at Saint Louis University. He completed theology studies at St. Mary’s College in Kansas, where he was ordained to the priesthood on June 16, 1964.
After tertianship in Decatur, Illinois, Fr. Grollmes completed a Ph.D. in philosophy and history of education at Boston College in 1969. Fr. Grollmes served as Dean of Studies at Regis University in Denver from 1970 to 1974. He then became the Assistant Dean of Studies at the College of Arts and Sciences at Saint Louis University, a position he held for 20 years.
Fr. Grollmes was very interested in strengthening both the academic rigor and the religious identity of Catholic universities and wrote articles and organized conferences on education, society and religious life. He was actively involved with the National Catholic Educational Association and served on its executive committee for a number of years. As an assistant dean he had a special interest in curriculum development, especially in honors programs and the humanities. For many years he was the director of the 1818 Program at Saint Louis University, a program that provides high school students opportunities to earn college credit toward their SLU degree.
Fr. Grollmes was also a poet. He wrote “At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington D.C.: Between the Lines,” a book of poems inspired by several visits to the memorial. Over 150 of Fr. Grollmes’s other works are published in literary journals.
In 1992 he became a chaplain for student athletes at SLU and served in that capacity for over 20 years. He provided support and encouragement to coaches and student athletes and was a loyal supporter of the SLU sports teams.
Earlier this year Fr. Grollmes’s health began to decline. He joined the Jesuit community at the Fusz Pavilion where he continued to pray for the Church and the Society. May this dedicated and talented man rest in peace.