Brother Urban Pieper OSB, 83
March 22, 1929 – November 1, 2012
Brother Urban Pieper, OSB, died on Thursday, November 1, 2012, at the Saint John's Abbey Retirement Center. A vigil prayer service will be held on Tuesday, November 6, at 7 p.m. in the abbey church. The Mass of Christian Burial will be on Wednesday, November 7, 3:00 p.m., in Saint John's Abbey Church with interment in the abbey cemetery.
Urban Anton Pieper was born on March 22, 1929, to John and Regina (Budde) Pieper in Marystown, Scott County, Minnesota. He was the eldest of ten children with seven sisters and two brothers. Urban attended the local Marystown Parish School (1935-1943), and then began working on his father's farm. Urban entered the novitiate at Saint John's Abbey in January, 1951, and professed vows as a Benedictine monk on January 6, 1952.
As a young monk, Urban had many jobs principally working in the garden and on the Saint John's farm. From 1961-1970 and 1972-1977, Brother Urban worked in the Saint John's mission of Saint Augustine's Monastery in Nassau, Bahamas, taking care of the lawns, gardens, bees, citrus groves and a herd of sheep.
In 1977, Brother Urban returned to Saint John's to become the official gardener and to manage the abbey apple orchard until retiring in 2006. Over the years, he provided a prodigious amount of tomatoes and fresh vegetables for the monastery table. The Saint John's University Biology Department also made use of Urban's special skills by making him their greenhouse specialist.
Brother Urban is survived by brothers Jerome and James, sisters Rose Marie, Rita, Agnes, Dolores and Olivia with many nieces and nephews and the community at Saint John's Abbey. Memorials in honor of Brother Urban may be directed to Saint John's Abbey Health and Retirement Fund.