Marquette principal loses battle with pancreatic cancer

The Catholic community is grieving over the loss of Marquette Catholic School Principal Pete Theban. 

There is a purple bow tied around the trees and fence of Marquette. It's a symbol of pancreatic cancer, the illness that took Pete Theban's life. 

"He'll never be forgotten because he had such a large impact on everyone that he'll never be forgotten," Bishop Kelley senior Raegan Fiasco said.

St. Jean-Baptiste De La Salle is known for teaching and Monday he looked over students mourning a man of his own heart.

"It was not a long battle, which was really unfortunate because he did not deserve to die," Bishop Kelley freshman Mara Zannotti said.

Pete Theban spent many years as the principal at Marquette Catholic School. He also spent time as the principal at Monte Cassino School.

"He gave me a lot of my leadership skills I have today," Zannotti said. "So I know that all my time at Marquette was time well spent and I'm just grateful for every minute I had with him."

Bishop Kelley Senior Raegan Fiasco spent eight years at Marquette. She says Theban motivated her to pursue her dreams.

"He would really encourage us to get out of our comfort zone, so I did the musical last year and it was really awesome and I was really thankful for it," she said.

Students say his love for teaching and faith of God will always inspire them.

"That's what he would talk about it is using our life for God and doing well in school," Fiasco said. "I think that's something that he would really want us to share with others."

Not only did Theban inspire his students, but also their parents. A group of moms gathered Monday night to tie a bow around every tree surrounding a place Theban called home. Mary Leake says she'll never forget him.

"All of us that had Mr. Theban in our lives, we're very lucky because it's very hard to come by these days," she said.

As the chapel doors close, these seats are empty,  but Pete Theban will always fill their hearts.

The funeral will be October 27th at 1 p.m. at Holy Family Cathedral.

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