It is with sadness and a feeling of loss that I write to you all on this Monday afternoon. I was called this afternoon by Jan Crane, the daughter of Eleanor Crane, our organist at Zion for 75 years! Jan called me to let us know that Eleanor passed away yesterday. She had been feeling a little under the weather for a week or two. I visited with her last Tuesday, Jan was there as well and we talked and laughed, told some old stories and prayed and celebrated Holy Communion together. Jan said her mom felt at peace after our visit and a day or so later started declining rather rabidly. Eleanor was 99 years old. She would turn 100 in July. Eleanor's family were able to put her on Hospice. A visiting nurse called that day to see her. The Hospice team were at her side immediately and were caring for her and her family. Eleanor was comfortable though very weak. Soon on Sunday, the Second Sunday of Advent, Eleanor passed away surrounded by her family. Comfort and Joy we sang and prayed about this past Sunday. Comfort and Joy!
Eleanor was playing the organ at church every Sunday when I arrived the summer of 2013. After a few years Eleanor decided it was her time to retire from playing the organ at Zion for 75 years! I can remember that Action News 6 in Philadelphia did a story about her. 75 years playing the church organ was quite an accomplishment. It was a beautiful story about Eleanor's love for music, love of her Zion Church Family and her love for the Lord! Eleanor was sharp as a tack as I have said to many at Zion on many occasions. She was strong, was up to date on world and local news. She was able to live on her own up to the very end. She had some help from care givers over the last number of years but basically lived by herself supported by her family. She has two daughters and a son. She loved all things, creatures great and small. Watched the squirrels from her living room window and the birds that came to her birdfeeders day after day, season after season. She had a full life. Her husband built their beautiful house on Holly Lane. One of Eleanor's best friends, Ruth Reeder lived right up the street from her and they would often have a visit or two every week for years and years.
I personally will miss her. I have visited her in her home many times in the past ten years. There was never a lack of topics for us to talk about. We prayed together and celebrated Holy communion in her living room many, many times. She was for me part of the great Zion Lutheran story that is going into our 83 years of existence. She loved to play for worship, to help us lift our hearts and minds to the Lord. She was faithful in her commitment to God and to the church. She will be missed by many on the island and beyond. May we offer a prayer for her family today. May they receive the comfort and the joy that was part of Eleanor's long story! May she rest in the peace of Our Lord. And in this holy season of Advent, we celebrate the God Emmanuel, the God who dwells among us. This was a fact of faith for Eleanor's life. She lived and loved the Lord to her dying day! The Lord loved her and is loving her still and has a place prepared for her. Eternal light shine upon her O Lord. May her soul and the souls of all our faithful departed rest in peace! Amen.
Finally, there are no plans right now for any memorial services. The family will be celebrating her memory with all of us in the early spring. I will keep you posted! God bless us one and all!
Michael Carlucci - Pastor Bill's Reflections
It was Saturday afternoon that our friend, Michael Carlucci was caught in the riptides off of Loveladies and drowned in the surf that day. Some of you experienced in person the great rescue efforts of our beach patrols and rescue team and saw the gatherings of emergency vehicles to help. Sad to say that they were unable to save Michael's life. He was in the ocean too long and had swallowed too much water. He was rushed to SOSC for their help as well, but it all ended still in the loss of Michael's life.
In truth, through Saturday night and Sunday, we all have been feeling just a small portion of the grief that Michael's family must have felt on Sunday. Such a tragic accident that took the life of such a fine man. Michael, 51, a high school math teacher, was an ever present participant in our bible studies during the summer months. A man of faith, a man of God's Word was always willing to share his view of how he saw that particular piece of scripture that day. He loved his family, his passion for teaching young people and his Lord!
As I'm sending this note to all of you, many of you may not have met Michael but our Bible Study folks knew him well. As we gather again to study this week's scriptures, our hearts will be filled with loving memories of Michael and deep sadness for his passing. But let us gather around God's Word and OUr Lord and pray and study together. To Anita Phiel and Michael's whole family we send our love and prayers. We will not forget our days together with him. We will be more conscious of what a great gift our own lives are and may we grow ever deeper in our love for one another and for Our Lord Jesus, the Savior of the world! May MIchael rest in peace. May Our Lord send comfort to all who mourn his passing!
If you'd like to join our bible study for Tuesday, September 13 at 11am come to Zion's Fellowship Hall. God bless us all today.
Grace and Peace be with you all! Pastor Bill
Larry A. Wyckoff
Pastor Bill's remarks: Friends, I send you this remembrance of our friend and member Larry Wyckoff. Our thoughts and prayers continue for Judy. Judy and Larry went everywhere together. As a couple they were a force for helping and serving. They are held by all of us with great esteem. We will miss Larry's unmistakeable walk up and down Central Ave. His ever present support of his Phillies and Eagles with a cap worn with pride. Judy and Larry, 56 years of marriage faithful to the end. May we be grateful for Larry's time among us. Judy last week spoke in gratitude to all who helped her and Larry in these past few years. Our love and support go out to you Judy. You are surrounded by family, friends and members of Zion who will continue to walk with you and support you in the days ahead. God Bless us one and all! Pastor Bill
Our Remembrance of Larry A. Wyckoff
Larry A. Wyckoff of Barnegat Light and formerly of Paradise Valley, PA passed away on December 28, 2021. Born in Trenton, NJ, Larry was raised in Pennsauken, NJ. He attended Merchantville High School. He played football in his senior year.
Larry served in the Naval Air Force from 1959-1963. He served as Supervisor in the Tool and Die Shop for Victaulic Company of America in Easton, PA. Before Larry retired from business, while living in the Poconos, he was President of Barrett Township Ambulance Corps for 6 years. He also served as a driver for the Ambulance Corps and First Responders from 1987-2006.
Larry was a member of Keokee Methodist Church from 1987-2006 and then a member of Zion Lutheran Church, Barnegat Light, NJ from 2007 until the present.
Larry was a great supporter of the Philadelphia Phillies and the Eagles Football Teams. No matter where he went, he would have one of their hats on. On his way to heaven Larry took with him his Phillies Blanket and his Eagles Hat.
Larry is predeceased by his parents Dorothy and Ted Wyckoff. He is survived by his wife, Judy of 56 years of marriage. Also, his brothers Charles and wife, Pat of Hawley PA, Bill and wife, Kay of Hawley PA and brother Dave of Florida. There are many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews as well.
A Memorial Service for Larry will be held in the Spring.
Memorial contributions can be made in Larry’s Memory to:
Zion Lutheran Church
PO Box 152
Barnegat Light NJ 08006
We remember Fred Gibbs as a faithful member of Zion Lutheran Church in the years he spent on LBI in Barnegat Light.
Frederick W. Gibbs
Frederick ("Fred") Gibbs passed away on January 4, 2022, at 89 years of age after a brief illness unrelated to the pandemic.
Fred was born March 22, 1932 to Walter and Elizabeth Gibbs. He is survived by his three adopted children Michael, Matthew, and Robyn, along with his three grandchildren Mary, Sophie, and Elizabeth (Ellie), shared with Janice Gibbs. Fred was also the proud "American father" to Andrew, Marla and Jennifer Lopez. He is pre-deceased by his loving companion in later years Patricia Ann Metoyer.
Fred graduated from Alfred University and served proudly in the U.S. Marine Corps. He then went on to build a brilliant career in telecommunications and international business. During this, the first chapter of his professional journey, he served in several prestigious executive roles, most notable as CEO of the ITT subsidiary Standard Electrica, a thriving national telecommunications company based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Chapter two saw Fred retiring early in the glow of his business prowess to become a gentleman farmer in Pemberton, New Jersey. While his Jersey corn and tomatoes were a hit at the local grocery… Fred couldn't resist the temptation to embark on his third and final chapter, and after studying law at Rutgers University he founded the firm Gibbs & Gregory in 1993. Fred enjoyed a prolific third career as an attorney and as the firm leader he mentored five young attorneys alongside his law partner and dear friend Stan Gregory.
Fred was a meticulous gardener, a fearless sailor, a seasoned world traveler, and a careful study of world history. He was also a committed member of his many communities, as a Board member of Alfred University, prior Councilman in Barnegat Light, NJ, and active Rotarian in Millsboro, DE.
Despite these many accomplishments, Fred had no time or interest in fame or self-promotion. Instead, he devoted his limitless energy, passion for life, and wisdom to supporting and loving his family, and his many, many, many special friends.
With his many years and experiences, it is no wonder that Fred never missed the opportunity to engage in rich conversation and debate. Politics, the latest news, or the chronology of human civilization… no topic was ever off limits! So, when you finally have your chance to meet Fred Gibbs in heaven, be sure to pull up a chair for a while...
David H. Zieger
It is with sadness that we announce the death of Zion's former pastor, the Reverend John Pearce. Pastor John came to Zion as a young pastor straight out of seminary 30 years ago. With a small but courageous congregation behind him Zion thrived and grew through the years under his leadership. Confirmation Class, Bible Study, First Communion with Pot lucks and bazaars. In 2015 Pastor John returned to Zion to preach at our 75th Anniversary Celebration.. What a great day that was for him and for all of us at Zion. Noted for his great sermons, his love for the Pinelands ( he authored a 500 page book about the history of the Pinelands) and a great religious presence to the whole Barnegat Light Community. Known around town as "Pastor John", he made a difference for so many in our community. He initiated the "Blessing of the Fleet" community celebration and so many other outreach ministries that Zion was about in those years. His picture has long hung in our fellowship hall. Dressed in his green vestments, looking over us one and all as we came and went from our Zion Church home and enjoying the life we share together in Christ. It was 12 years ago or so that Pastor John retired from Zion. He moved south to Georgia where he served on occasion as supply pastor and finally moved to Florida. He passed away in a Nursing Home that he has lived in for the past two years. He died peaceably in the company of his friends and caregivers. Let us remember Pastor John for all that he did to grow our church over the years. It seems like we have lost so many of the pillars of Zion these past two years, yet we stand still on solid ground in faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ!