Brother Andre Hotchkiss
Brother Andre Hotchkiss passed away on November 27, 2018 in Riverside, CA. He was born in Brookings, South Dakota on June 10, 1937 to George and Nettie (Houser) Hotchkiss. He attended St. Mary’s School in North Washington. When his mother became ill, he lived with the Leonard and Frances Phillips family in Bankston, IA. He then lived with the Art and Berniece Houser family, his uncle and aunt near Ionia.
In 1955, at the age of 18, he went to Divine Word Seminary, Techny Illinois and began his missionary training. While in training he worked at the printing press before it burned to the ground. It was never re-opened. He professed his perpetual vows on May 1, 1959.
He was sent to the Philippines to help in the SVD printing apostolate. He managed the Arnoldus Press in Manila for 10 years. He returned to the United States to study at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa and received a degree in Sociology in 1976. Brother Andre was then appointed Assistant Dean of Students at Divine Word Seminary, Riverside where he devoted time doing vocation work for the mission seminary in Riverside and for the Divine Word College in Epworth.
In 1985 he requested to do mission work in Kenya, Africa. He stayed for nearly two decades, giving top priority in helping the poorest of the poor. His first work was the Garba-Tulla Catholic Mission where he helped establish dental clinics, drought and famine relief projects. He then worked in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. He loved people and enjoyed working with the poor.
In one of his Christmas letters, Brother Andre wrote: “The people I work with are very supportive. Their task was to use efficiently what God provided. This I have come to believe is the ultimate religious vocation, namely to shepherd the environment and resources of our world so that we can assure families and children that there will be food, clean water, and shelter for all, that no one needs to go hungry, that there will be no malnourished, emaciated children with extended stomach crying for mercy.”
In 2004 he returned to California and lived at Divine Word Residence in Riverside, CA. but his heart was focused on the mission in Kenya. Throughout his life Brother Andre radiated joy for everyone. A faithful servant…. He was well loved.
Brother Andre is survived by his two sisters Rosalie Glaser of New Hampton and Bonnie (Howard) Howland of New Port Richey, FL; two brothers Francis of Salinas, CA and Rick of Waterloo, IA; brother in law Lowell Weber of Marion, IA; his aunt Gertrude Houser of New Hampton, many nieces, nephews, and cousins including Darryl and Diane Dietzenbach of New Hampton.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters Carol Weber and Marlys Ashley; sister in law Pat Hotchkiss; brothers in law Paul Robert Glaser and Floyd Mckinney; and his close uncle Sam Houser.
A local memorial service will be held at Holy Family Church in New Hampton on Sunday June 9, 2019 at 1:00 PM.