Father Maynard Brotherson 1924-2015


Father Maynard Brothersen has given up his status as the second-oldest priest in the Diocese of Davenport. Father died over the weekend at the age of 91. He served the church — the people of God — for 67 years. He even spent some of his 21 years in retirement actively involved in ministry.

Fr. Brothersen
Fr. Brothersen

Fr. Maynard was a priest, first and foremost, with the energy of giving his all and his best. He also came from the farm and often returned to help with the busy seasons of planting and harvesting. He was a priest on the move, whether on his motorcycle or piloting a plane. (I once flew with him to St. Louis on a mission of mercy — and live today to tell it!)

As a sportsman, he was a hunter and appreciated what it meant to his confreres to have a 4 a.m. Mass available to open the duck hunting season’s morning hunt. The sport attraction carried right through retirement as he gathered the Assumption High School (Davenport) athletes for Mass on game days. It was his contribution to helping them understand what life as a team effort really meant.

Father’s ministry was pastoral, and supportive of healing as a hospital chaplain. He will long be remembered for his patient and understanding approach, the spiritual gifts he shared with those in need. His name was Brothersen —and he well witnessed a life of being a “brother” to all who were touched by his dedication to his priesthood.


For 18 years Fr. Maynard served St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport as an assistant pastor. It was there that his formation in the priesthood was completed. It was a time in the church of our diocese where there were not enough parishes that had openings for pastors. Assistants had to wait their turn, and he did.

As his eternal life begins on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, Oct. 7, may Father now pursue the intercession of the Blessed Mother, Queen of the Clergy, to send us replacements.

Thanks, and well done, Fr. Maynard.

Msgr. Francis Henricksen

Father Brothersen obituary

Father Maynard Brothersen, a priest of the Diocese of Davenport for 67 years, died Oct. 3 at the Kahl Home in Davenport. He was 91.

Maynard Brothersen was born Feb. 28, 1924, in Victor, a son of Maynard and Teresa (McGarry) Brothersen. He attended Guernsey Consolidated and St. John School in Victor, St. Ambrose College in Davenport and Loras College in Dubuque. He completed his theology studies at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. On March 19, 1948, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ralph Hayes at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport.

He was an assistant pastor at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport from 1948-66. He served as chaplain at Mercy Hospital and Veterans Hospital in Iowa City from 1966-73. Fr. Brothersen also served as the co-pastor at St. Peter Parish in Keokuk from 1973-74 and was pastor of St. James Parish in St. Paul from 1974-81. He then served as the director of pastoral care and chaplain at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City from 1981-84 and pastor at St. Mary Parish in Albia from 1984-94. He retired in 1994 and moved to St. Vincent Center in Davenport.

After retiring, he was a loyal supporter of Assumption High School sports and covered the Mass schedule for many of the smaller parishes of the diocese.

Fr. Brothersen was a member of the Catholic Chaplain Association, V.A. Chaplains Association, Priests Senate and Presbyteral Council. He served as dean of the Ottumwa Deanery and on the Diocesan Personnel Board and was a member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and the American Motorcycle Association.

Fr. Brothersen’s funeral was scheduled for Oct. 7 at St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Davenport. Burial will be at St. Bridget Cemetery in Victor.

Memorials may be made to your favorite parish, Priest’s Aid Society, Kahl Home, Assumption High School or the Handicapped Development Center.

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