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Shout-out to Alfred Behles!

Here is a shout-out to parishioner, Alfred Behles, who helped me fill in the blanks about organists who served St. Francis de Sales Mission Church before it became St. Joseph. Previously, we learned that June Niggel Derrick’s mother, Margaret Elizabeth Noglin Niggel, played the pump organ for an unknown period of time at St. Francis de Sales Mission Church and June could remember watching her mother’s feet go up and down, pumping the organ. But, we were unable to figure out when she was organist. From Alfred, we now learn that his mother, Mrs. Anton F. Behles, was organist from 1940-48/49. The information from Alfred was an awesome mystery-solver. Here’s why. Records indicate that at the dedication Mass of St. Joseph Church in 1949, Madame Tremblay Baker was choir director at Holy Mass, and Mrs. Anton F. Behles was the organist for the Mass. I had been unable to figure who was this “Mrs. Behles!” Mystery solved. Thank you Alfred! To close the circle, it is really cool to note that June Niggel Derrick’s parents were godparents to Alfred! Interesting tidbits that Alfred shared in a conversation we had...the WWI Ft. Jackson building that was converted into the St. Francis de Sales Mission Church was affectionately known as “the Cardboard Cathedral.” There was a porch on the side of the building which served, when needed, as overflow. There were three members of the choir: Alfred’s mother, Mary Adams, and William T. Shea. Alfred served as an altar server until around age 16, and he remembers being an usher at the dedication of the new St. Joseph Church. Thank you, Alfred! Brad Cunningham, Organist


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