Those who knew Father Lawrence Tebbe should recognize the handiwork which has been photographed and displayed at the Auglaize County Public District Library, and those who never knew him may want to take a closer look into the artist who dedicated his life to preserving St. John Catholic Church, Fryburg.
The Auglaize County Historical Society is hosting the mini-exhibit “A Retrospective on the Life and Work of Father Lawrence Tebbe” at the library in Wapakoneta during September.
“Have you ever really been inspired by somebody in how they live their life in service to others?” St. John Parish Secretary Anne Johnston said. “He kind of taught people how to appreciate things, the little things. He was very kind.”
Although Father Tebbe died in 1972, Johnston said he is very much still a part of the church. She said the parish is his legacy.
“His spirit is still here,” Johnston said, explaining how Tebbe remains in the church in the hearts of parishioners, but also physically through his many paintings, masonry and even buildings still standing today in Fryburg.
Fryburg Homecoming committee member Connie Butcher said Father Tebbe continues raising money for the church to this day, as his valuable artwork gets handed down through the generations and sometimes donated to the festival to be raffled.
She said memories of Father Tebbe have been shared similarly.
“Everybody’s always talked about him,” Butcher said. “I came to this homecoming when I was a little girl ... Everybody has grown up, their kids take over. It’s just a tradition. To my kids, I’ve talked about Father Tebbe. It’s just generation after generation, and that’s how Father Tebbe keeps so alive.”
For the full story, see the Thursday, Sept. 4 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.