WØOTU - February 14, 2003

WØOTU - Father Gordon Father Gordon E. Mycue
Maple Lake, MN

A lightning bolt turned the Rev. Gordon Mycue from a career in radio to one in the priesthood.

Mycue, a priest for 53 years, died last Friday in Buffalo, Minn., of complications from diabetes. He was 80.

As a young man, he worked for a number of radio stations in the Twin Cities doing everything from engineering to on-air work at the microphone, said his friend Victor Tedesco of St. Paul, who met him through music.

In the early 1940s, Mycue played saxophone and clarinet in Tedesco's band.

"He was the best musician in the group of 12," Tedesco said.

Mycue didn't serve in the military because of perforated ear drums, said his caregiver, Pat Bento of Maple Lake.

Tedesco related that sometime in the 1940s, Mycue had climbed a radio tower to do some repairs. The tower was struck by lightning, but he wasn't hurt. "So he said, 'I'm gonna join the priesthood,' " Tedesco said. "He was the holiest person I ever knew."

Mycue was ordained in 1949. In addition to parish work, he was assigned to work in radio and television for the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis. He left as director of the unit in 1971, when it became the Office of Communications.

Although most of his work involved helping produce broadcast programs, his technical skills didn't languish. In the 1960s, he invented the "Aco-liter," a battery-powered lighter for church candles, and designed new confessional booths with electrical hearing-aid equipment and automatic lighting fixtures for St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Corcoran, Minn. He arrived at St. Thomas in 1958 and stayed 22 years, his longest assignment as a parish priest.

He and Bento, then a nun, helped start a preschool at St. Thomas in 1970.

"That was back in the days when parents were afraid to send their kids to preschool because they would know too much by the time they reached kindergarten and be bored," she said.

Mycue and Bento started working together when they met in 1969 at St. Therese Care Center in New Hope, which Mycue co-founded.

Mycue, an only child, left no immediate survivors.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. today at the Church of St. Timothy in Maple Lake. Visitation is at 9 a.m.