Msgr. Donald R. Wangler, who served the Diocese of Buffalo for over 60 years, died March 22, 2019, while at Father Baker Manor in Orchard Park. He was 87.
Born June 10, 1931, in Buffalo to Charles and Marion (Schmitt) Wangler, Msgr. Wangler attended St. Matthew Elementary School in Buffalo and St. Joseph Collegiate Institute in Kenmore, before entering Niagara University, where he earned a bachelor's degree. He attended the University of Innsbruck for graduate studies.
He was ordained July 26, 1957, in Innsbruck, Austria by the Most Reverend Paul Rusch.
In September 1957, Msgr. Wangler received his first assignment to Sacred Heart Mission in Angelica. This was followed by assignments at St. Mary of Sorrows, Buffalo; St. Joseph, Buffalo; St. Agatha, Buffalo; St. James, Buffalo; and Nativity of Our Lord, Orchard Park. In the fall of 1973, he was named chaplain of Rosary Hill College in Buffalo.
In 1977, he was named director of Pastoral Formation, at Christ the King Seminary, East Aurora, where he also served as director of the House of Prayer. The following year, he was named coordinator of the Transitional Deacon Supervision Program, and first director of the St. Columban Center in Derby after the diocese acquired it from the Columban fathers.
In 1988, Msgr. Wangler received his first pastorate at Holy Name of Mary, Ellicotville. This was followed by eight years as pastor of St. John the Baptist, Lockport. He retired in July 2002.
Msgr. Wangler was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, a member of Alhambra Society, Innsbruck Alumni, DePorres Club and Kolping Society.
In 1993, he was named a prelate of honor by Pope John Paul II.
Msgr. Wangler is survived by his sister, Jeanette Donohue, and predeceased by brothers, Robert and Raymond, and his parents.
Bishop Richard J. Malone will celebrate a funeral Mass Wednesday, March 27, at St. John the Baptist Church in Lockport beginning at 10 a.m.