John A. Klekotka, O.S.A.
Father John A. Klekotka
was born in Philadelphia on 4 February 1915. He attended James Alcorn Public
School, St. Stanislaus Parochial school, and Roman Catholic High School
(where he received the Latin Prize at graduation). He was awarded a Bachelor
of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from Villanova College in 1935.
Working for a while as a typist, he entered the Augustinians as a
postulant in March 1936 and pronounced his first vows on 10 September 1937.
He did his theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. and
was ordained to the priesthood 10 June 1941. The following year he received
his Master's degree in Physics from Catholic University and began to teach
at Villanova College.
At Villanova Father Klekotka served in many capacities: he was a
professor of science, from 1951 to 1956, headed the Electrical Engineering
School from 1954 to 1956, was Executive Coordinator of the Nursing Division
from 1954 to 1959, was Director of Alumni Relations from 1957 to 1959, was
for a time Director of Admissions, and from 1959 to 1965 was President of
the University 1959 to 1965. He earlier had also been moderator of the
student newspaper, The Villanovan, college chaplain and for many years, dorm
From 1965 to 1971 he served as prior of the Augustinian community at
Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania; from 1971 to 1975
was Pastor of Saint Thomas of Villanova parish, Rosemont, Pennsylvania, and
from 1975 to 1977, was prior of the Augustinian community at Our Mother of
Consolation parish, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania.
suffered several strokes, he returned to Saint Thomas of Villanova parish as
an associate in 1977; and it was as a member of this community that he died.
During his ministry,
Father Klekotka's talents glowed through his quiet and self-effacing
personality. He received several honorary degrees: ScD from Alliance
College, Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania (1960); a D. Ped from La Salle
College, Philadelphia (1962); and a Dr. Hebrew Letters from Dropsie College,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1964). He also served on the board of directors
of Villanova University and of Holy Family College, Philadelphia,
Twice he was awarded
the prestigious Freedoms Foundation Medal and was also the recipient of the
Villanova Alumni medal. He served on the Crime Commission of the City of
Philadelphia, on the Philadelphia World Affairs Council, on the Education
Council of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, on the Priests Senate of
the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and on the Board of Directors of the Urban
League. He was also a member of such professional societies as Tau Beta Pi,
Eta Kappa Nu, the Franklin Institute, the Academy of Natural Sciences, and
the Philadelphia Professional Society.
Father Klekotka died
suddenly in Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital on 4 November 1978. He is buried in
the Augustinian plot, Calvary Cemetery, Conshohoken, Pennsylvania.
Source: Necrology of the Augustinian Provinces of the United States
(Revised, May 2000).