Father Joseph T. Retzel was born in Wenatchee WA on August 11, 1927 reared in Spokane WA, he finished high school at Gonzaga preparatory School in 1945. After serving in the Navy for one year and attending Gonzaga University for another year he entered the Society of Jesus at St Francis Xavier Novitiate in Sheridan OR. He followed the regular course of studies for a Jesuit at Mount St Michaels in Spokane, Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma and Alma College of Theology in Alma CA. After finishing all of his formation in the Jesuits and after being ordained a priest in Spokane in 1960, he moved to Montana to spend his priestly career in Havre, Hays, and St Ignatius. His great warmth of spirit attracted many to church and prayer. His deep love of God kept him young at heart. Joseph had a deep love for the native peoples of the Pacific Northwest and a strong passion for social justice. His joyful spirit always celebrated life. His many years in Montana had him yearning for wide open vistas in which he could see the face of God. He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Emily retzel and his siblings Margarite Honeychurch, Vincent Retzel, Marie Johnson, Raymond Retzel, Thomas Retzel, and Theresa Hedges.