Brother Victor Charles Besche
(1919 - 2010)
Brother Victor Charles Besche, 91, died in the monastery infirmary on Wednesday, July 7. The burial service at the celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial took place on Friday, July 8 at the monastery church. Brother Victor was born May 22, 1919 in Baltimore, Maryland. His parents were Anthony H. Besche and Stella A. Geisenkotter-Besche. He had 6 siblings. Surviving is his 102-year-old sister, Mrs. Regina Besche-McNamara. His nephew, Dr. John McNamara, represented the family at the Mass and burial service. John faithfully visited his uncle at the monastery through the years.
Brother Victor attended John Hopkins University in 1939. He entered the Army in October 1943. He had four brothers who also served in the US Armed Forces. Brother Victor piloted single engine and twin engine fighter aircrafts with the 7th Air Force in the Pacific in World War II. He achieved the rank of First Lieutenant and received numerous awards and decorations including two Bronze Stars, an Air Medal and one Oak Leaf Cluster. He was honorably discharge in 1945. Benny Stephenson and 4 other members of the local American Legion Post 77 Color Guard were present to perform the traditional flag presentation and playing of Taps at the funeral. Brother Victor entered the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in 1951 at age 32. He made his solemn monastic vows in 1957.
Brother Victor flying "high into the Son"
By Father Methodius
July 8, 2010
When I woke up this morning and read the notice on the bulletin board that Brother Victor had died peacefully at 9:30 last evening a song came into my mind. "Off we go into the wild blue yonder, flying high into the sun."
The World will little note nor long remember the death of World War II U.S. Army Air corps fighter pilot First Lieutenant Besche, but it will always remember the great cause he was willing to lay down his life for: the protection of the United States of America and the preservation of it's freedoms: "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This meant victory in the Pacific; victory over an Empire whose ambition was to claim the entire Pacific ring as the Empire of Japan in the name of its Emperor Hirohito.
I don't know how many times Brother Victor sang to himself: "Off we go into the wild blue yonder." as he took off in his twin engine P38 on another mission to beyond the blue horizon of our earth's biggest ocean. War in the Pacific. What a conundrum. I have tried over the years to get him to tell me of his exploits but he always turned the conversation gently aside -- always the Baltimore gentleman. Sometimes with an "I don't remember." He did tell others in the community some of his story though. We did talk when permitted by our rule of silence of many other things: you know, of cabbages (he was our cook for many years) and kings (he was interested in the goings on of the world.
The world will little note nor long remember the passing of our Brother Theobald -- later Brother Victor, but I hope and pray that it will never forget the great endeavor he did give his life for: The Trappist Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Ghost -- later Holy Spirit.
May our Brother Victor (What a great name!), having flown "high into the Son" rest victoriously in the peace of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.