Father Haupt: ‘a good shepherd priest who loved his flock’

Categories: Around the Diocese

The Visitor

Father Lloyd George Haupt, 89, died Sept. 25 at Quiet Oaks Hospice House in St. Augusta. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Oct. 1, with Bishop Donald Kettler presiding, at St. Paul Church in St. Cloud. Inurnment was at Assumption Cemetery, St. Cloud.

Mimi Bitzan, who worked with him as director of religious education at St. Paul’s, was a close family friend for many years. She quoted from Father Haupt’s autobiography at his funeral visitation: “My ordination day was the happiest day of my life.”

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Father Lloyd Haupt

Bitzan recalled 34 Christmas eves that Father Haupt spent with her family. “Father Haupt was a welcoming priest. He accepted people, wherever they were on their journey.”

Passionate about lifelong learning, she said, he started the GIFT program — Growing in Faith Together — at St. Paul’s. “Father Haupt touched countless lives in many different ways in his ministries at the Children’s Home and as a parish priest.”

After retirement, she said, “he remained active, assisting as needed for Masses, funerals and special services for the diocese. He was especially devoted to serving veterans at the St. Cloud VA [Hospital].”
Father Haupt “was very well respected and loved,” said Deacon Dave Lindmeier, director of the Diaconate Office of the St. Cloud Diocese. “He was a good shepherd priest who loved his flock and his role as pastor. He had a wonderful sense of liturgy and was excellent as an administrator.”

Deacon Lindmeier first knew Father Haupt as a parishioner at St. Paul Parish in St. Cloud, later through varied parish ministries and then as someone who recommended him for the diaconate formation program.

“[He was] a great homilist, although he personally thought he wasn’t a good homilist at all — I still remember homilies he gave many years ago that influenced me,” Deacon Lindmeier said.
“I remember one where he likened a person’s spiritual life to a backyard garden. It is important that you go out every day and check for new weeds that might be sprouting so you can root them up before they take over the whole garden. It is also important to nurture and feed the other good plants so they can grow and thrive.”

As a friend, Deacon Lindmeier said, Father Haupt “was always there when you needed him and always forgiving if you weren’t. He was very welcoming, social and had a unique sense of humor.”
Father Haupt was born May 26, 1926, in Avon, to Oscar and Marcella (Keppers) Haupt. He attended Avon Public School in Avon and Technical High School in St. Cloud. After high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Air Corps during World War II.

Upon his return, he graduated from St. John’s University in Collegeville and received his seminary training at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, Colorado, and at St. John’s Seminary in Collegeville. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Peter Bartholome May 1, 1954, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in St. Cloud and celebrated his first Mass May 2, 1954, at St. Benedict Church in Avon.

His pastoral assignments included the following: associate pastor, St. Mary’s Cathedral, St. Cloud; pastor, St. Patrick Parish, Minden Township; St. Andrew Parish, Elk River; St. Paul Parish, St. Cloud. Father Haupt retired July 6, 1994. He was a priest of the diocese for 61 years.

Father Haupt also served as director of the St. Cloud Bookshop, diocesan director of cemeteries and as superintendent of the St. Cloud Children’s Home. He served as dean of the Princeton and St. Cloud deaneries. He also was a member of the diocesan College of Consultors and served as director for retired priests and continuing education for clergy.

Father Haupt was preceded in death by his parents, by his sisters, Connie and Renee, and his brother, Wayne. Memorials are preferred to Quiet Oaks Hospice House.