Robert F. Velten

January 16, 1926 - June 10, 2020

Fr. Robert Francis Velten, OSB, 94, passed peacefully on June 10, 2020, at Saint Leo Abbey, St. Leo, Florida, where he was a Benedictine priest.  Born January 16, 1926, to the late Aloysius and Ledvenia (nee Polking) Velten of Ft. Thomas, Ky., Father Velten touched many lives throughout his life.  His laughter and bright smile were contagious and his positive spirit inspired those around him.  In January 1943, during his senior year at Newport Catholic High School, Father Velten enlisted and served his country during World War II as a B-24 gunner with the Fifteenth Army Air Force in Pantanella, Italy.  It was from his experiences in the war that stirred his decision to become a priest.  On May 27, 1954, he was ordained into the Benedictine order at St. Leo Abbey in Florida.  Within the monastic community, Father Velten served as Novice Master and later in the Abbey prep school as headmaster, teacher, football, basketball, and track coach.  Within St. Leo College, he served as Administrator Vice President and Dean of Students.

A man of many talents, Father Velten obtained his master’s degree in mathematics at his beloved alma mater, Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana.  An avid golfer, he helped design The Abbey Course, an 18-hole golf course across from St. Leo Abbey.  It was fortuitous that when Father Velten returned to Ft. Thomas to care for his aging parents, he would remain in the area for over 25 years serving the parishioners at St. Therese and St. Vincent Parishes as well as serving as Chaplain at Camel Manor.  During this time he faithfully served the Lord, his parishes, his family as well as the students at Woodward High School in Bond Hill, Ohio, where he taught mathematics.  Following his return to the Abbey in the 1990's, Father Velten served the community as Prior and later as administrator before the election of the new Abbot.

Father Velten maintained his pilot license and loved to fly.  He enjoyed music and rooting for his hometown Reds and Bengals and each year looked forward to his Air Force reunions where he was Chaplain.

He is preceded in death by his brother, Brother Austin (Aloysius) Velten, OSB, and sister, Mary Margaret (late Walt) Enzweiler and survived by his brothers Richard (late Martha) Velten and Donald (Carolyn) Velten both of Cold Spring, Ky, and his sister Rose Ann (John) Gingerich of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and many nephews and nieces.  Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, June 16, at Saint Leo Abbey Church, St. Leo, Florida. Memorials may be sent to Saint Leo Abbey, 33601 State Rd. 52, St. Leo, Florida, 33574.