Arthur F. Dethlefs

Arthur F. Dethlefs

May 27, 1925 – October 24, 2021

Survived by wife, Regina; son and daughter-in-law, Joseph and Jenifer; granddaughter, Mia; brother, Henry; sister, Phyllis Wigton.

VIGIL SERVICE: Friday, October 29th at 7pm at West Center Chapel with family receiving friends from 5-7pm.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, October 30th at 10:30am at Mary Our Queen Catholic Church, 3405 S. 118th Street.  Interment: Calvary Cemetery.  The family suggests memorials to Sogang University, Creighton Prep or Mary Our Queen Catholic Church.

To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service and Mass, please go to and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.


Arthur “Art” Francis Dethlefs was born on May 27, 1925, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Henry and Goldie Dethlefs.  He passed away with his family at his side on Sunday, October 24, 2021, at the age of 96.

Art graduated from Creighton Prep in 1942 and after that joined the Jesuits at the St. Stanislaus Seminary in Florissant, Missouri.  He lived and worked there for thirteen years and became a jack of all trades.  Due to his diverse skills, in 1955 Art was given the opportunity to go overseas to Korea and begin the Jesuit University, which was later named Sogang.  From 1955 to 1985, he was involved in finding the plots of land where the university now resides, construction of the first 12 buildings – many of which are still standing today and was the Head of the Treasury Department and oversaw the Maintenance and Operations of the University.  Art is recognized as one of the six Founding Fathers of Sogang University and the last to pass away.

In addition to his roles at Sogang, Art was also the Construction Supervisor for the Apostolic Internunciature in Seoul, the St. Mary’s Hospital at Banpo, and provided advisory work for the Gwangju Seminary.  Art had a passion for building and helping others. 

While at Sogang, he met his loving wife, Regina.  During the ten years they knew each other, their friendship evolved into love. In 1979, Art and Regina were married at the Jeoldusan Martyrs Shrine in Seoul. 

Due to Korea’s mandatory retirement age, in 1985 Art retired from Sogang and moved his family to the Philippines, where he helped start an orphanage, the Villages for Children.  In 1986, Art moved his family back to his hometown, Omaha, where he lived out his life.  He worked at Boys Town until he retired in 1999. 

He is survived by his wife, Regina; child, Joe (Jenifer); grandchild, Mia; brother, Hank; sister, Phylis; and nieces and nephews.  Thanks for everything you have done and for being a great man, we will see you again. 


1 Condolence

  • Marty and Jim Smith Posted October 27, 2021 2:43 pm

    To Regina, Joe, Jennifer and Mia. Art was so proud of his family. Our deepest sympathy.
    Mary Jo’s sister, Marty and Jim Smith

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