Jesuit Icon Br. Billy Dardis, S.J., Passes Away at Age 79

Posted July 10, 2019 / Last updated July 11, 2019

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Surrounded by family and Jesuits on Wednesday, July 10, Br. William J. Dardis, S.J., ’58 passed to his eternal reward. Br. Dardis has shaped the lives of countless graduates and staff members at Jesuit High School for more than five decades. The entire Jesuit community offers prayers for the repose of the soul of this kind and humble servant.

Funeral arrangements are forthcoming.

In 2016, Br. Dardis was inducted into Jesuit’s Hall of Honors. At that time, the following was written to honor this devoted servant for his outstanding contribution to Jesuit.

bro_dardis_bw_cropBrother William J. Dardis, S.J. ’58

Brother Billy Dardis has served Jesuit High School for 53 years, seemingly as a “man for all seasons.”

Homeroom teacher; maintenance department director; handyman; grounds keeper;  phone repair man;  bus driver; leader of alumni; moderator of the cheerleaders and other organizations; altar boy; recorder of our dearly deceased; custodian of institutional knowledge; fighter for the underdog; supporter, friend, and tutor of struggling students; promoter of Blue Jay Spirit; consummate chaperone; designated dancer; friend to all; loving colleague; caretaker of JHS — only begin to describe this member of the Class of 1958. His classroom is the yard, the cafeteria, the back field, the gym, the Student Commons, the maintenance shop, the school bus, and his teaching is the practical lessons of life. His learning project is the Mission and Thanksgiving drives, the Homecoming game, the dances, Open House, Celebration, Bazaar, and the Commencement Luncheon.

He is an active participant in the formation of students and colleagues alike. Simply put, Br. Dardis is the super glue that has helped hold Jesuit together for more than five decades.

In 1988, Br. Dardis was presented with The North American Martyrs Award by Jesuit’s Board of Directors in recognition of his unselfish service to the school.

His signature greeting of “Darlin” immediately welcomes us into the world of this proud New Orleanian, a world in which service to others defines his relationship with God. In 2010, he was awarded the school’s Profile Award, an annual recognition of faculty excellence.

During his 53 years of serving Jesuit High School, one iconic post-Katrina image of Br. Dardis adjacent to the newly lighted Jesuit sign atop the school captures the essence of this holy servant: he is indeed a source of comfort and security, a bright light in our midst, God in action in our lives.