Deacon England dies; directed diocesan communications office

A committal service took place at Resurrection Cemetery in Peoria on Feb. 26 for Deacon Robert England, a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Peoria who served as director of the diocesan Office of Communications from 1979 to 1990.

Deacon England died on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2010, at Lutheran Home and Services in Arlington Heights. He was 94.

Born July 7, 1915, in Port Townsend, Wash., to James and Hazel (Jay) England, he had a 43-year career with Caterpillar, Inc., including three years in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where he worked as the material superintendent.

A member of the diocese’s second class of permanent deacons, he was ordained on Nov. 18, 1979, and was appointed to head the newly expanded Office of Communications. He would serve as its volunteer director for the next decade, overseeing a period that saw the church’s presence on television increase dramatically with the introduction of cable networks including EWTN.

Deacon England also set up diocesan press conferences, and notified area newspapers of stories of Catholic interest.

Preceded in death by his wife, Mildred, and a brother, James, he is suvived by his children: Michael J. (Barbara) England of Evanston, Marianne (William) Dixon of Arlington Heights; Therese England of Northbrook; and Philip (Rebecca) England of Peoria; a brother, Richard, of Circlesville, Ohio; nine grandchildren; four great-granchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions may be made to Doctors Without Borders, PO Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD, 21741.

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