Fr. Ted Weber
Fr. Ted Weber

Father Ted Weber, longtime pastor and teacher in the Archdiocese of Portland, died May 31 at age 89.

A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, June 8, at Christ the King Parish Milwaukie. Interment will take place at Mount Calvary Cemetery on Monday, June 10.

Recalled by many in their youths as a Central Catholic High School disciplinarian, Father Weber usually revealed himself later as a kind and funny raconteur.

He was born Theodore Robert Weber Oct. 31, 1929, the son of Herbert Weber and Helen Scherzinger. He attended Mount Angel Seminary high school from 1943 to 1947 and went on to college studies at Mount Angel from 1947 to 1951. He studied for the priesthood at St. Edward’s Seminary in Seattle from 1951 to 1955 and was ordained in Portland by Archbishop Edward Howard on May 21, 1955.

Freshly ordained, young Father Weber went on to further studies and obtained a master’s degree in education before serving at Central Catholic High School in Southeast Portland from 1955 to 1967.

He was a star in the Oregon Catholic world. In 1959, he won a National Science Foundation Grant to study biology. As one of the presenters for a 1961 KGW television Sunday religion program, he spoke on “The concept of God and his attributes.”

Father Weber was vice principal for his last three years at Central Catholic, serving as master of discipline.

Once, a group of boys played a trick on him, listing his car in the newspaper as for sale and placing his phone number at Christ the King Parish with the advertising. The wily priest sleuthed out the tricksters and invited the lads for a Saturday at the parish. He handed them whisk brooms and told them to sweep the massive parking lot. When the boys finally finished the job and were exhausted, they went to put away their small brooms and noticed a collection of much larger push brooms in the tool closet. They asked Father Weber why he hadn’t given them the bigger implements to ease their work. He responded, “You never asked.”

Father Weber served as chaplain for the Marylhurst Provincial House and Holy Names Sisters from 1965 to 1967. He was then assigned as principal of Regis High School in Stayton, where he served from 1967 to 1972. During these years he also was chaplain at Marian Nursing Home in Sublimity, and administrator of St. Mary Parish in Shaw.

In 1972, he was assigned as pastor of historic St. Paul Parish in St Paul and served until 1974. He then was pastor of Christ the King Parish in Milwaukie from 1974 to 1985, overseeing construction of the current church while caring for his aging father. From 1985 to 1991, he was pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Oswego.

He was a member of the archdiocese’s stewardship committee starting in the late 1970s.

Father Weber was rigorous in taking Mondays off and golfing with three other priest pals. But each of the men offered Mass before hitting the links. His closest friends called him “Web.”

He served as pastor at Queen of Peace in North Portland from 1991 to 1993, Holy Family in Southeast Portland from 1993 to 1996, and St. Philip Benizi in Redland from 1996 to 1999, when he retired.

Father Pat McNamee was a student at Central Catholic when Father Weber was a teacher with a reputation for strict expectations.

“You were afraid of him,” Father McNamee said.

Later, after he was ordained, Father McNamee received an invitation from Father Weber to join a poker game with other priests. Despite some fear, the younger churchman showed up.

“I was really afraid they would beat me to a pulp,” he jokes. “But we became friends. I got to know Ted as a kind guy.”

Msgr. Don Buxman became pastor of Christ the King in 2000, when Father Weber lived at the parish. The older priest asked if he could concelebrate Mass and attend events.

“One of the things I really appreciated was how respectful he was when I arrived there,” says Msgr. Buxman, who also had a healthy fear of the older priest from student days at Central Catholic. “He was a delight to be around. He was a great conversationalist.”

Father Weber invited the younger priest to dinner and told stories galore.

For more than 20 years, Father Weber was spiritual director for Deacon Jim Pittman, who will preach at the June 8 funeral.

“He was somebody I could turn to and lean on,” says Deacon Pittman, who splits time between Oregon and Nevada. “He was stubborn in a good way. He was a great priest who would do anything for anybody. He was a magnificent priest and father figure to many people.”

Seven years ago, Deacon Pittman’s son was ill and dying. Father Weber visited the young man and brought him back to faith.

“That’s the kind of a guy he was,” Deacon Pittman says. “And I can’t even begin to imagine the number of baptisms and weddings where he presided.”

Father Weber was the holy man in a large Southeast Portland clan, the Scherzingers, based at Sacred Heart Parish. His grandfather, J.A. Scherzinger, moved to the parish in 1910 and was a longtime choir director. Young Theodore made his first Communion at the parish in 1937 and in 2016, he presided at the last of his many weddings for the family.