Aurora mourns the loss of community stalwart Father David Engbarth
Father David Engbarth left an indelible mark on Aurora during his 45 years serving the community.
His recent passing during the Thanksgiving holiday has left a void in the city's faith community and in the lives of generations of Aurorans who considered him a family member.
Father David, as he was most commonly known, was feted Dec. 6 by city leaders and Catholic priests.
Mayor Richard Irvin issued a proclamation naming Father David's birthday - Aug. 24 - in his honor.
"Father David was an Aurora icon who helped to shape our community," Mayor Irvin said.
Aurora Ward 1 Alderman Emmanuel Llamas was moved to tears as he reflected on his childhood under the leadership of Father David at Archbishop Romero Catholic School.
Two fellow members of the Catholic clergy joined Irvin and Llamas in remembrance of their brother and fellow priest.
Father Godwin Asuquo of St. Joseph Catholic Church reflected on his time with Father David. Father Jerome Leake of Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church offered a prayer for Father David and the community.
Father David Engbarth, 75, worked at several parishes during his tenure in Aurora, which began in 1979.
Father David was instrumental in confronting gangs and cleaning up neighborhoods of crime during the mid-1990s.
He officially retired in 2014, and returned to Aurora often to serve and visit.