Dcn. Louis Joseph Pardini, or Dcn. Lou, as he was known, spent over nine decades serving his family and the Church on earth. He passed away peacefully at home Oct. 17, just five days shy of his 91st birthday.

Dcn. Pardini was born Oct. 22, 1925 in Ogden, Utah. His life of service took him to World War II via the Army — he was a tail gunner with the Flying Tigers — to work with Union Pacific Railroad in Idaho, to two decades teaching at Arizona State University. Dcn. Pardini retired in 1989, five years after being ordained a deacon.

His wife, Eileen, shared a good portion of his life’s journey with him. And she has Dcn. Pardini to thank for making the first move. The couple met one rainy day in Idaho. Eileen was a college student in need of a ride and “decided to jump in a car with a handsome stranger and an open seat,” Dcn. Pardini’s formal obituary read. The couple celebrated 66 years of marriage this fall.

Dcn. Lou Pardini (-2016)

Dcn. Lou Pardini

Born: Oct. 22, 1925 in Ogden, Utah

Married: Eileen Pardini (Snyder) Sept. 5, 1950

Ordained: Dec. 29, 1984

Service in the Diocese of Phoenix

Our  Lady of Mount Carmel, 1984-1992

St. Philip the Deacon, 1992-2005

St. Steven, Sun Lakes, 2005-16

Died: Oct. 17, 2016

Dcn. Pardini spent many years building up — physically and spiritually — St. Philip the Deacon Mission, just south of I-10 and Loop 202. When Fr. Pierre Hissey arrived at St. Steven in Sun Lakes 11 years ago, the pastor brought Dcn. Pardini into active service there. The two took turns preaching, including at daily Mass.

He was a godsend in other areas too, Fr. Hissey said. Parishioners will continue to reap the benefits of the deacon’s carpentry skills, especially when viewing the credence tables and candle holders.

“He was an extremely kind man. He lived a full life. He had a heart for the poor,” Fr. Hissey said, noting the deacon’s leadership of an outreach program for area parishes in need.

“He was very dedicated to pro-life and very much a man who would go out there and speak for the powerless,” Fr. Hissey said. Dcn. Pardini believed so much in life in the womb that he always considered himself a year older, telling people he counted the nine months’ gestation.

Dcn. Pardini lost his own father at age 9, but learned how to be a dad in his own right. He raised three sons with Eileen. They all married, producing seven grandchildren the Pardinis spoiled, and four great-grandchildren they delighted in.

He is survived by his brother, Julio. He now joins his parents, Julio and Rosa, and his sister, Mary, in the Kingdom of God.