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Rev. Jerome Twarog, associate paster at St. Eugene, dies at 60

Rev. Jerome Twarog

Rev. Jerome Twarog

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Updated: August 4, 2013 6:16AM

The Rev. Jerome Twarog loved a good story — listening to them and telling them.

It’s probably why the Northwest Side parish priest was hailed as one of the best preachers in the city.

“He loved stories. He liked to talk about the Abraham Lincoln assassination plot or the JFK assassination, biographical stories,” said the Rev. George Koeune, pastor of St. Eugene, 7958 W. Foster, where Father Twarog served as associate pastor. “He said Napoleon would be perfectly preserved in his tomb because his body was laced with arsenic, and he would just go on and on with stuff like that.”

Father Twarog died of a heart attack on Thursday. He was 60.

“He loved teaching and loved visiting hospitals to do the sacraments . . . last rites, anointing of the sick and confession,” Koeune said.

Father Twarog, who taught history for several years at Weber High School on the North Side before it closed, served at St. Eugene since 2008, where he also taught whenever he could.

Before his assignment at St. Eugene, he was associate pastor for one year at St. Mary Parish in Lake Forest. Before that he served at several parishes, including St. Peter in Skokie, St. John Vianney in Northlake and St. Pascal and St. John Cantius parishes in Chicago.

Father Twarog also served as a chaplain in the United States Air Force.

“He was kind of an expert on WWII and WWI. He had collections of different military hats and flags,” Koeune said.

Father Twarog also enjoyed cheese and sausage.

“One of his favorite trips to make was to the Mars Cheese Castle in Wisconsin,” said Koeune, who also said Father Twarog was diabetic.

“He uplifted people but also challenged them to follow the Gospel,” he said.

Visitation will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at St. Eugene Parish. A funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, at St. Eugene. Interment will follow at St. Adalbert Cemetery in Niles.

Father Twarog is survived by his sister, Teri Scheckel, and nieces Kelly Rotella and Connie Thweatt.

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