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Rev. A. Mark Illig, former Daemen campus minister; July 11, 1956 -- Dec. 21, 2011

The Rev. Mark A. Illig, a Catholic priest who once served as a part-time campus minister at Daemen College, died Wednesday in the home of Monsignor John J. Conniff. Father Illig was 55.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of New Trier West High School in Northfield, Ill. He earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and attended Moreau Seminary in Notre Dame, Ind., where he earned a master's degree in theology.

He was ordained by Bishop Edward D. Head on July 26, 1985, at the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Harris Hill.

In 1985, Father Illig began serving as an associate pastor at St. Stephen's Catholic Church, Grand Island. In 1990, he became a parochial vicar at St. Benedict's Catholic Church, Eggertsville. He assumed additional responsibilities as a part-time campus minister at Daemen College, Amherst, in 1993. Father Illig was director of the Pope John Paul II Residence in 1999. He became parochial vicar at St. Amelia's Catholic Church, Town of Tonawanda, in 1999, before becoming pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, Bowmansville, in 2002.

At Daemen, Father Illig also was involved in the campus radio and healing ministries. He was part of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association and was a member of both the Ancient Order of Hibernians and the Notre Dame Alumni Club.

He was recognized as Alumnus of the Year by the Notre Dame Club of Western New York and Moderator of the Year by the Diocese of Buffalo Youth Department. Father Illig also coached school basketball at St. Stephen's and St. Benedict's schools. He was a member of the Niagara Falls Little Theatre.

He is survived by a brother, John; and three sisters, Barbara Frank, Anne Rush and Elizabeth Coppola.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in St. Amelia Church, 2999 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda.

[MCNEIL]