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Josef D Heygers

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan
Josef D'Heygers was a 41-year-old Belgian shoemaker who spoke no English when he came to the United States in 1956 and began working as a janitor at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. The Catholic high school literally became home to D'Heygers, who initially slept on a bed in an unused restroom before moving into a converted nurse's infirmary. He later moved into a mobile home near the faculty cafeteria that eventually was replaced by a more modern one. By the time an apartment was built for him above the new Campus Ministry Center in 2000, the unassuming D'Heygers had long become as much a fixture at Mater Dei as the statue of Mary in the grotto in the center of campus.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 6, 2010 | By Dennis McLellan
Josef D'Heygers was a 41-year-old Belgian shoemaker who spoke no English when he came to the United States in 1956 and began working as a janitor at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. The Catholic high school literally became home to D'Heygers, who initially slept on a bed in an unused restroom before moving into a converted nurse's infirmary. He later moved into a mobile home near the faculty cafeteria that eventually was replaced by a more modern one. By the time an apartment was built for him above the new Campus Ministry Center in 2000, the unassuming D'Heygers had long become as much a fixture at Mater Dei as the statue of Mary in the grotto in the center of campus.
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NEWS
March 2, 2000
Thanks for your story on Josef D'Heygers, the caretaker at Mater Dei High School ("Gentleman of the Old School," Feb. 7). It sounds as if the whole school campus is, and has been, filled with lovely, caring, thoughtful people. Mr. D'Heygers was a fortunate man to find himself in such company. Likewise, the folks at Mater Dei are fortunate to have found him! --LAUREL HALL La Habra Letters should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number. Internet writers must also include name, street address and telephone number.
NEWS
March 2, 2000
Thanks for your story on Josef D'Heygers, the caretaker at Mater Dei High School ("Gentleman of the Old School," Feb. 7). It sounds as if the whole school campus is, and has been, filled with lovely, caring, thoughtful people. Mr. D'Heygers was a fortunate man to find himself in such company. Likewise, the folks at Mater Dei are fortunate to have found him! --LAUREL HALL La Habra Letters should be brief and must include the writer's name, address and phone number. Internet writers must also include name, street address and telephone number.
NEWS
February 7, 2000 | BONNIE HARRIS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The soul of Mater Dei High School lives behind the gym, in a slightly tilted trailer he shares with a scrappy stray cat. Josef D'Heygers is 84 now and stooped, but he gets around campus much like he has for the last 45 years, taking care of this and fiddling with that--fussing over the Santa Ana private school he has made his home. D'Heygers watches over what, with 2,100 students, is the largest coed Catholic high school in the West.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 27, 2000
Thank you for your Feb. 7 article about Mater Dei's Josef D'Heygers, "Gentleman of the Old School." He was a fixture at the school when I attended in the early '70s, and it was touching to see he was still there when I enrolled my own three children at Mater Dei. Josef and the staff at Mater Dei have always known that a high school is about commitment and heart as well as academics and athletics. That's why my kids are there. I found their attitude and your article refreshing in comparison to the usual news about high schools these days.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 29, 2002 | Dana Parsons
Some lives have a symmetry to them. Long or short, good or bad, sometimes what has come before in a person's life blends seamlessly with what comes at the end. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Josef D'Heygers may be living just that kind of life. In broad strokes, he has been an anonymous man--a Belgian shoemaker for most of the first half of his life, a caretaker at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana for the last half of it.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2005 | Joel Rubin, Times Staff Writer
There is no particular course at Mater Dei High School in which students learn the meaning of loyalty and kindness. But for nearly 50 years, the small, unassuming man ambling along the pathways has taught them well. Josef D'Heygers has called Mater Dei home since he arrived from Belgium in 1956 to take a janitor's job at the Santa Ana Catholic school. He didn't speak English and had no place to sleep, so the school allowed him to live on campus. He never left.
NEWS
February 7, 2000 | BONNIE HARRIS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The soul of Mater Dei High School lives behind the gym, in a slightly tilted trailer he shares with a scrappy stray cat. Josef D'Heygers is 84 now and stooped, but he gets around campus much like he has for the last 45 years, taking care of this and fiddling with that--fussing over the Santa Ana private school he has made his home. D'Heygers watches over what, with 2,100 students, is the largest coed Catholic high school in the West.
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