Rev. Roger R. Karban | Obituary

Rev. Roger R. Karban, 80, of Belleville, born on Jan. 30, 1940, in Belleville, died on Friday, July 10, 2020, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville. 

Ordained in 1964, Roger was a priest in the Diocese of Belleville with scholarly expertise in Sacred Scripture. He received his Licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and did his doctoral studies in scripture at St. Louis University.

Roger was the chair of the religion departments at Mater Dei and Gibault Catholic High Schools, director of the diocesan diaconate program and administrator of Our Lady of Good Council Parish in Renault. He also served as chaplain for the Ursuline Sisters of Belleville.

He wrote weekly commentary on the Sunday scripture readings for publication in Catholic newspapers across the country. He was a founding member of the Carbondale Interfaith Dialogue and a part time faculty member at St. Louis University and Southwestern Illinois College where he taught the Bible as literature. For over 50 years, he taught weekly Scripture classes in East St. Louis, Belleville, Breese, Scott Air Force Base, Carbondale,and Lebanon. With the vision of Vatican II, Roger presented workshops on scripture, not only in the Belleville diocese, but throughout the country. 

Roger is survived by his siblings Rosemaryann Karban and Michael (Jackie) Karban; and his sisters-in-law Jackie (his late brother Victor’s wife) and Barbara Karban (his late brother Jim’s wife). Roger loved his many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, who also survive.

He was preceded in death by his parents Victor and Edna (nee Vermalen)Karban; his brother Larry Patrick who died in infancy; his siblings Victor Karban Jr. and James Karban; his great niece Emily Nowels; and his great nephew Evan Nowels. 

The family wishes to thank Belleville Memorial Hospital’s ICU and nursing staff for their excellent care in Roger’s final days. The family also gives their special thanks to Virginia Dowling for her loving care.

Visitation will be held from 1-7 p.m. July 19, at Kassly Mortuary, Ltd., Fairview Heights. 

A private family funeral service will be held at Kassly Mortuary. 

Interment will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery, Belleville. 

A celebration of Roger’s life will be held on July 10, 2021, at a time and location to be announced. 

Memorials may be made to FOSIL (Faithful of Southern Illinois) or Catholic Urban Programs.

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