Who was Josef D'Heygers?
Josef Day 2022 will be observed on Friday, April 8. We'll journey with Josef throughout the Lenten Season. Beginning with Ash Wednesday, we'll have weekly prayers focused on Josef's life as well as special videos on Monarch television. We challenge all Monarchs to #LiveLikeJosef.
MEMORIES OF JOSEF
“What a sweet man he was! I remember him and his cat.”
- Roe Park ‘99
- Michelle Pilon Sanchez ‘88
- Sheila Urlab ‘79
- Werner Raes ‘70
- Barbara Winter Martin ‘79
- Marisa Winch '96
"Josef was a constant presence for us, and most especially those of us who were involved in activities after school....in the 70's as most Monarchs wee. I have such fond memories of staying late into the night for drill team practice with Miss Davis and then Gail Milby '70. If we walked out to our cars at 9:30 p.m., there was Josef to make sure we got into our cars safely. He watched over us like a sweet European uncle. I never understood a word he said....but we all knew that whatever it was, he was saying something wise and protective. He never scolded or scared us; he simply made sure we were safe and had what ever we needed. (And we learned not to walk on floors he had just cleaned! Ha!) Thanks for paying tribute. He was a survivor, a servant of God and MD, and a remarkable man.
- Mackie Saba Cardoos '73
Teacher, St. Joseph School, Santa Ana
"I graduated in 1972 and knew him well. A few of us would bring our lunch and have lunch with him in his trailer. He is a beautiful soul."
- Sandra Lujan '72
"I love this tribute to a wonderful man who used to sit with me after rehearsals until my ride came to pick me up or open a door for me when I left something behind. He truly is the best of example of Mater Dei."
- Anne McNiff Gaeta '80
"He was the kindest man who never taught a class, but taught so many incredible lessons!"
- Eva Wysocki Schulte '89
"A very kind, gentle, intelligent man with an incredible work ethic. Josef loved the students and faculty. He was always there to lend a helping hand. I was at MD for 45 years as a student and a teacher. I adored this loving man."
- Gail Milby '70
"My favorite memory of Josef came 30 years after graduation. We were just starting to set up the 30 year reunion for the Class of '66 in the old gym, when the power grid for the entire West Coast went down around 3 - 3:30 pm. At first we didn't know the extent of the problem and thought electricity would be restored quickly, surely before our 6 pm start time. As the afternoon went on, we started to learn the extent of the problem, and our confidence was fading. At this point, Josef came to me and asked if we wanted some candles. I said sure and he said come with me, we'll hunt some down. Who would know better where candles were kept on campus? Hint...look in the chapel."
- Jim Marzo '66
"I remember Josef always working so hard around campus. His tiny and frail body pulling a heavy trolley full of chairs or tables to set up for the next student event, and always with a smile. I’m so glad that my daughter, a freshman at MD this year, has the opportunity to learn more about this wonderful man who made such a lasting impact on my life as well as others. May his memory and legacy continue to live on."
- Noelani Middenway Solomon ‘00
"Josef's presence on campus was something I will never forget about Mater Dei. He was a huge supporter of the soccer program and it didn't matter if we won CIF or lost....he was always there to support us. What a great man!"
- Jason Smallwood '97
- Tom Trunk '68