Father John W. Lefler, 78, a retired priest of the Diocese of Evansville, passed away Saturday, July 17, at Woodmont Nursing Home in Boonville.

Born Aug. 12, 1931, in Snake Run, he was the son of William and Mary Obert Lefler.

Father Lefler’s seminary studies were at St. Meinrad Seminary and in Innsbruck, Austria. He was ordained a priest on April 6, 1957.

Father Lefler’s first assignment was to Sacred Heart Church in Evansville as assistant pastor. Subsequent assignments in Evansville included Assumption Cathedral and St. Boniface Church. He taught at Magister Noster Latin School from 1964-68.

In 1968, he was named pastor of All Saints Church in Cannelburg, and added additional responsibilities as administrator of St. Patrick Church, Corning, from 1970-74. He was Chaplain of the Washington, Ind., Legion of Mary from 1968-72.

He was named pastor of St. Clement Church in Boonville in 1974, then of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Petersburg in 1976.

After a period of health leave in 1980, he returned to active ministry as associate pastor of St. Joseph Church in Evansville, then of Christ the King Church in Evansville.

He was appointed pastor of St. Martin Church in Chrisney in 1984. In 1988, he took health leave until becoming a member of the Clergy Assistance Pool in January 1990. He retired in 1994.

Survivors include three sisters, Mary E. Lefler of Fort Branch, Patricia Hall of Fort Branch and Dorothy Morgan of Littleton, Colo.

He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Joseph Lefler in 1933 and Richard P. Lefler in 2002.

Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger will celebrate the funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Monday, July 26, 2010 at Holy Cross Church in Fort Branch. Priests of the diocese will concelebrate. Burial will be in the St. Bernard Church cemetery in Snake Run.

Visitation will be 8:30 a.m. until the time of Mass on Monday at the church.

Stodghill Funeral Home in Fort Branch is handling arrangements.