Holy Cross Father Ron Wasowski, a member of the University of Portland community since 1998, died suddenly Dec. 5.

University President Father Mark Poorman shared the news in an email with faculty, staff and students the next morning.

Father Wasowski lived in the Holy Cross Courts on the edge of campus and died there of an apparent heart attack or stroke, Father Poorman said.

In addition to his work as a Holy Cross priest on campus, Father Wasowski was a professor of environmental science, served as Mehling Hall’s pastoral resident from 2001-2005 and was the adviser for the Voice for Life Club.

The funeral mass and burial took place at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, the city in which the future priest was born.

He was baptized and attended grade school at St. Casimir Parish and attended St. Joseph High School, both schools staffed by the Congregation of Holy Cross. When he realized that he might have a vocation to the priesthood and became interested in both teaching and parish ministries, the natural choice was Holy Cross. He entered the Holy Cross seminary program at Notre Dame in the fall of 1964. He studied physics and pastoral theology and was ordained in 1973.

Father Wasowski served in a South Bend parish for one year, at Bourgade Catholic High School in Phoenix for one year. He earned high degrees in physical geography at UCLA and went on to teach at Notre Dame and later at King's College, a Holy Cross school in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Father Wasowski arrived at the University of Portland in 1998 to teach science courses and upper division environmental science.

He spent summers assisting at parishes, including at El Cristo Rey Catholic Chapel in Grand Canyon National Park. His hobbies included hiking and photography.