Father Wilfred M. Dumm, O.S.B., a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Friday, September 23, 2011. Born on June 30, 1920, he was a son of the son of the late Gordon and Esther (Kirsch) Dumm of Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. He was the oldest of nine children, which included two sets of twins. His sisters are Dolores Demma of Lusby, Md., Imogene Reidy of Silver Spring, Md., and Roselyn Colella of Olney, Md. His brothers are Father Demetrius Dumm O.S.B., also a monk of the Archabbey, Donald Dumm of Ebensburg, Patrick Dumm of Summerhill, Frederick Thomas of Tyrone, and Clair J. Dumm of Ebensburg.
He attended Bradley School, a one-room grade school in East Carroll Township. He then attended Saint Vincent Preparatory School in Latrobe, from which he was graduated in 1937. He entered Saint Vincent College in the fall of 1937. In 1939 he was accepted into the novitiate of Saint Vincent Archabbey and made simple profession of vows on July 2, 1940. He graduated from Saint Vincent College in 1942. He made solemn profession of vows on July 11, 1943, and was ordained a priest by the late Hugh C. Boyle, Bishop of Pittsburgh, on November 4, 1945. He pursued post- graduate studies in physics and mathematics at Fordham University, the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, the University of Maryland, Temple University and Penn State University.
He served in various posts at Saint Vincent, including dorm moderator at the college (1946-1950 and 1951-1952). At the same time he was physics instructor at the college, and math and physics instructor in the prep school.
He served on the Men’s Retreat Board (1945-1952) and as chaplain at Saint Xavier Academy, Latrobe (1956-1967).
He was assigned to the faculty of Benedictine Military School, Savannah, Georgia, teaching physics, math and electronics (1967-1996). He also served as procurator and subprior of Benedictine Priory. After his retirement in 1996, he was assigned to serve as director of alumni for the school.
He was a member of The United States Power Squadrons since 1968, an organization of sail and motor boaters dedicated to safe boating and to maritime education from seamanship to celestial navigation, and held the grade of Navigator. In 1986 he was asked to serve as national chaplain and served in that capacity until January of 2002. He also served as district chaplain and Tybee Light Squadron chaplain.
Father Wilfred was an amateur radio operator, holding an advanced class license. He wrote poetry, and also authored a booklet, “A Beacon of Prayer.”
In 2010, he was honored by Saint Vincent College Alumni Association with its Alumnus of Distinction Award, in recognition of meritorious service and commitment to Saint Vincent.
Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Archabbot Douglas R. Nowicki, O.S.B., at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, September 27, followed by the Rite of Committal in the Saint Vincent Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Benedictine Health and Welfare Fund of Saint Vincent Archabbey, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650.