Father William John Stout, S.J., longtime teacher, chaplain and parish priest, died March 14 at Sacred Heart Jesuit Center, Los Gatos, after a brief illness. He was 85 years of age, a member of the Jesuit Order for 66 years and an ordained Catholic priest for 53 years.
Bill was born in San Jose January 27, 1933, the youngest child of Henry Stout and the former Lyna Henry. He attended St. Mary’s School and Bellarmine College Prep and entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Los Gatos in 1951. He earned degrees from Gonzaga University and Santa Clara University during his studies toward the priesthood. He was ordained a priest in San Francisco in 1964.
Bill’s ministry was for many years centered on the high school classroom. He taught chemistry and mathematics at Loyola High School, Los Angeles (1958-61), chemistry and earth science at Bellarmine Prep, San Jose (1966-80), chemistry and physics at Jesuit High School, Sacramento (1980-84), and mathematics and science at William C. Overfelt High School, San Jose (1984-2002). Bill was known for his inventive and dramatic chemistry demonstrations designed to engage and often delight and surprise his students.
Pastoral work was also a major part of Bill’s ministry. As a seminarian, he became interested in working with the Spanish-speaking people of the Santa Clara Valley and devoted much time to teaching, census taking and charitable works at Guadalupe Mission in the Eastside. For many years, he was chaplain at Agnews Developmental Center and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He also served as chaplain to the San Jose Fire Department, with helmet, turnout coat and scanner at hand, ready to offer solace and support.
He did pastoral ministry at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Alviso, for 14 years and more recently, at Our Lady of Peace Church, Santa Clara.
Survivors include his brother Clyde (Valerie) Stout of San Jose and nieces Marni, Heather, and nephew Timothy also of San Jose.