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My Electronic Congregation - October 24, 2012

It has been a long time, perhaps two years, since I wrote to you under this title.  Just why the lapse, I am uncertain; but it probably has to do with having insufficient information to warrant a posting.  This morning, however, I received an Email which carried sad information I know many of you would want in a timely fashion. 

Richard Wiger writes:

Life is a mixture of good things mixed with bad. Unfortunately last night my brother Les passed away after battling a mysterious lung disease for nearly 4 weeks. Even at Emory, one of the 10 best hospitals in the nation they could not find out what caused his lung failure and consequently they could not treat it. Being a biologist I know that the body is a complicated and well tuned machine, but when something comes out of balance it can be difficult to re-establish total harmony. He fought and fought like a hero, and Chesley and their daughter Wendy were great support. I believe that Chesley was even more important than the medical treatment. It was admirable to see her keeping up his spirits and helping him to live on.

Donna, my brother John and I were with him for a week and were at bedside for several hours every day. When we left I said my farewells because he was so weak and nothing seemed to help. During his last days I talked with him about the old days in Sunset Park, basketball, working in the Rockville CC, 10 Mile River Scout camp and lots more. Because he was on a ventilator he could not talk but nodded when we asked him. He was very weak and could not move his toes and hardly could squeeze a finger. Part of this was due to weeks in bed and high doses of prednisone. I told him that I would come back and help him with his recuperation because if he survived he would have needed a long period to regain his strength. I think that he hung on so long because he always stayed in such good shape. But that wasn't enough.

There will be a memorial service this coming Saturday in Atlanta [October 27] and on Nov 3rd there will be a big family gathering near Roanoke VA where they have had family reunions every July for the past many years.

Please send your notes of sympathy to Leslie's widow, Chesley, at 4425 Wembly Place, Cumming GA 30041; or Email her at:  Richie's Email address is:


On September 4th, Jean Rebenstorf, a frequent Email correspondent, beloved organist at Christ United Methodist Church, wrote to inform me of the death of her husband Walter on Saturday, September 1st, in Hospice.  Walter was in his early 80's; he and Jean have been married 55 years, and I carry with me a clear memory of their wedding reception in Wesley Hall of (then) Sunset Park Norwegian Methodist Church.  Jean and her children, Glenn and Crystal (who is a grandmother!) and her daughter Jai gathered for the committal of Walter's ashes at Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn, on Monday, September 24th.  Prayers and hymns and heartfelt tributes were offered.    

Please send your notes of sympathy to Jean at:,


Tony Vastano, husband of Geraldine (nee Dalland) died September 21st in Piscataway NJ following a lingering illness. He would have been 72 this November.  A report on the funeral can be found on this website at: Tony Vastano.


Greg, son of Marilyn and Brud Ike, just 47 years old, died October 11th, following a long illness.  A report on the funeral can be found on this website under Memorials and Celebrations, "In Memoriam: Greg Ike."


Sure, there is happier news, much happier:

Herewith is a photo of Jackie (nee McGregor) and Zach Kreider's second child, Eve Brooklyn, born August 26th.  Congratulations to parents, brother Max, and grandparents, Stu and Joyce McGregor and Joy Kreider.


Saturday, November 10th, at 3:00 PM at Grace United Methodist Church, Valley Stream NY, Noelle, daughter of Diane and Pat Panzarino, will be united in marriage with Daniel Sjoberg.  Noelle is a schoolteacher studying toward a master's degree and certification as a school counselor.  Daniel, like Noelle a lifelong Valley Stream  resident, is a New York City Police officer on his way to the rank of detective. The wedding will be the occasion for music, music, music, including violinist Kim Neri, baritone Jonathan Goodman, and organist George Simmons. Pastor Matt Curry and I will be leading the service of marriage.


Wedding bells again for the Brooklyn-Coxsackie clan, the Dallands.  Younger son Michael has announced plans to marry Jaime on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

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