Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Louis A. DeCleene, O. Praem.

Birth: April 4, 1893

Death: April 7, 1972

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother Louis Victor DeCleene was born in Rockland, Wisconsin in 1893, the same year the family moved to DePere. After having graduated with honors from both high school and the Green Bay Business College , in 1912, he began study at the United States Military Academy at West Point as a classmate of Dwight Eisenhower.  In 1913, he studied at St. Norbert College and was an instructor in the high school.  “Lavee” joined the Order in 1914 and was solemnly professed in 1918.

After being the chaplain of the Army War College at Catholic University from 1921 until 1923, he returned to the college as registrar and the following year and was appointed director of athletics.  He received a Ph. D. in mathematics from Catholic University in 1927.  From 1928 until 1945 he was circator of the abbey.

During the summer months of the ‘30’s, “Lavee”, as he was called, instructed the sisters at Marian College in Fond du Lac and Alverno, during which time he was also Dean of Men at the college.

For a short time in 1945, he succeeded Fr. Hurley as superior at Archmere before becoming superior and principal of Southeast Catholic.  He returned to the college in 1946 as professor of accounting and mathematics. Instructing two of the most brilliant army students while the college was under Army contract, Lavee flunked both, one with F+, the other with F-.  He explained to an astounded Army Colonel that these were not “flunking F’s, but therapeutic ones.”

Lavee quit teaching in 1954 and became a chaplain in Davenport , Iowa until 1959, when he became associate pastor at St. Willibrord in Green Bay and temporary pastor in Lincoln, Wisconsin.  He retired to the abbey in 1970 where he died on Friday, April 7,  1972, at the age of 79. 

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