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Father Oscar Frundt dies at 87, known for ministry to Delaware State Police


Dialog reporter


Father Oscar H. Frundt, a retired priest of the Diocese of Wilmington who was a longtime chaplain for the Delaware State Police, died April 13. He was 87.

Father Frundt was born in Jersey City, N.J., and attended Catholic schools there.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College in Lebanon, Kentucky; he continued his studies for the priesthood at St. Charles Seminary in Overbrook, Pa., and graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., in 1956.

FR.FRUNDTHe was ordained for the diocese by Bishop Edmond J. Fitzmaurice in 1956, at St. Anthony of Padua Church. He served as an associate pastor at St. Edmond’s, Rehoboth Beach; St. Francis de Sales, Salisbury, Md.; St. Joseph on the Brandywine, Greenville; Holy Cross, Dover; Holy Rosary, Claymont; and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Christ Our King and Holy Child, Wilmington. He was pastor of St. Peter’s, Onley, Va., then a part of the diocese, and Holy Name of Jesus, Pocomoke City, Md.

Father Frundt was named a chaplain to the Delaware State Police in 1966 and remained in that position until his death. He became a colonel in 2009, the first state police chaplain to attain that rank.

“For over 50 years, Father’s ministry touched the lives of countless brave troopers and their families,” said the Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington. “He considered the Delaware State Police his parish and his family and committed his life to serving them.”

Several troopers were with the priest when he died.

Col. Nathaniel McQueen Jr., superintendent of the state police, said the agency lost more than a chaplain.

“We lost a mentor, an adviser, an ambassador and a true friend. Each of us will be forever grateful to have had him on our team,” McQueen said. “Father Col. Frundt has proudly served thousands of current and past members of the division — a calling that he performed passionately, honorably, selflessly.”

Attempting to measure the priest’s impact on the state police “would be nearly impossible,” he added.

“Suffice to say, the services he provided our family throughout more than half of DSP’s 92-year history have been crucial to our success.”

In 1963, he became the chaplain of the Christopher Council of the Knights of Columbus, which serves Holy Rosary and St. Helena’s parishes. He served there until 1967 and returned in 1999, remaining until he died.

He joined the Knights of Columbus in 1956 and became a fourth-degree member in 1985 as a member of the Archbishop Edmond J. FitzMaurice Assembly, named after the bishop who ordained him.

He also was a chaplain to Christiana and Wilmington hospitals from 1977-93. He talked positively about his work.

“I think the greatest consolation in my job comes from seeing a person brought back to God,” he told The Dialog in 1979. “And also in seeing the family of a patient have confidence in God.”

Funeral services will be April 20 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church, located at Shipley and Weldin roads, Wilmington. Visitation will take place from 9 a.m.-noon, with the Mass of Christian Burial to follow. Burial will be at All Saints Cemetery in Wilmington.

Donations in his name can be made to the Dominican Nuns of Mt. Tabor, 1295 Bald Eagle Lake Road, Ortonville, MI 48462; the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Propogation of the Faith, P.O. Box 2030, Wilmington, DE 19899; or Nemours Fund for Children’s Health, 1600 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803.