School 29

Jerome "Leo" Dombrowski

July 16, 1931 ~ January 11, 2024 (age 92) 92 Years Old

Jerome "Leo" Dombrowski Obituary

Jerome “Leo” Dombrowski, 92, of Loves Park, IL passed away peacefully to be with the Lord on January 11, 2024. Leo was born July 16, 1931 in the South Side of Chicago, one of four sons to Stanley and Cecilia (Tomaszewski) Dombrowski.

Leo attended St. Mary High School Seminary in Crystal Lake, where he was Senior class president and participated in all sports and several clubs. He graduated magna cum laude and valedictorian in 1949, going on to Loyola University in Chicago earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry. He also earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Catholic University of America and a Masters in Education from the University of Southern California. He received several fellowships through the National Science Foundation from University of California Berkeley, City College of New York, and University of Illinois College of Medicine. Because Leo was fluent in nine languages, he was asked by the U.S. Government to translate scientific documents during the Cold War.

He was ordained a Franciscan priest in 1958 at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, celebrating his First Mass at his home parish of St. Bronislava in South Chicago. Leo was assigned to teach religion and science at Bishop Montgomery High School in Torrance, California, where he became the Principal. Later, he gave guided tours at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy to many pilgrims, including Princess Margaret and Lord Snowden. He also heard confessions at the Vatican in Rome, During that time he attended St. Padre Pio’s last Mass in Pietralcina in Southern Italy.                      

In 1975 Leo became pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Rockford, Illinois until he received a dispensation and laicization, allowing him to marry Vickie Locascio.

Leo continued his teaching career at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, IL, Aquin High School in Freeport, IL and Keith Country Day School, Rockford, IL, retiring after 24 years there. In total, he taught for over 40 years.

Leo was a fan of all the Chicago sports teams, especially the White Sox. He enjoyed reading, feeding the birds, a good coffee cake, watching the news, and especially following politics.

Leo leaves behind to cherish his memory his loving wife of 42 years, Vickie; his son, Jerry (Nicole) Dombrowski of Rockford, IL; daughter, RaeAnn (Henry) Tonigan of Denver, CO; mother-in-law, Joan Locascio; brothers-in-law, Jerry Locascio, Philip Locascio; and several nieces and nephews. Predeceased by his parents; 3 brothers: Stanley, Robert, and Raymond; numerous relatives; his best friend, Fr. John Joseph; and his pet dog, Taggie.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 AM, Tuesday, January 16, 2024 in Holy Family Catholic Church, 4401 Highcrest Road, Rockford, IL 61107 with a visitation from 10:00 AM until time of Mass. Entombment in Sunset Memorial Gardens, Machesney Park. Mass will be live streamed at

Leo wrote in his valedictorian speech when he was 17 years old, “May God help us to serve Him truly and faithfully to the end,” a sentiment he held close to his heart and lived by.

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January 16, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
4401 Highcrest Road
Rockford, IL 61107

Mass of Christian Burial
January 16, 2024

11:00 AM
Holy Family Catholic Church
4401 Highcrest Road
Rockford, IL 61107


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