Updated on 09/27/2013 4:10PM

Father Frank Niehaus dies at age 84


Father Frank Niehaus, who ministered at River Downs and Turfway Park, passed away early Thursday morning at a hospice in Anderson, Ohio.

The 84-year-old retired Catholic priest succumbed to complications of internal bleeding two days following surgery.

Father Frank, as everyone knew him, oversaw the Backstretch Works of Mercy, the ministry he took up after retiring 18 years ago from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Father Frank bred and owned Thoroughbreds as well as attending to the needs of backstretch workers, hotwalkers, grooms, trainers, and owners. Father Frank held a mass in the grandstand at River Downs every Sunday until this year when the facility was demolished.

Services will be held at The Community of the Good Shepherd, (the parish Father founded in 1973, on Saturday. The address is 8815 E. Kemper Road, Cincinnati, Oh. 45249. Visitation will precede the Mass at Good Shepherd from 9:30 a.m. to the start of Mass at 12:30 p.m.