Obituary of Gary Stein
"Glory to God" (Luke 2:14)
Dear Family of St. Paul's,
I write to inform you that our brother in Christ, Gary Stein, has died. After a long illness throughout many years, with countless comebacks ever-surprising and inspiring us, Gary has now entered eternal rest.
Gary was the overall life of the spiritual party with us each Sunday morning. Our original praise band drummer, he seamlessly blended worship with his inimitable sense of humor. During the announcements, we just never knew when something I said might be met with a drum roll from behind me. Gary rode a purple motorcycle, had affectionate nicknames for us (mine was "Joephus"), and was in every sense a real character who made us smile.
Gary often wore a shirt given to him on a Faith Alive weekend at the time of his spiritual awakening many years before. Etched across that shirt were the words, "Glory to God." When I saw him wearing it in his hospital room recently and remarked that he really loved that shirt, his family replied that he actually had around ten of them! "Glory to God," I replied, to which Gary let out his wonderful laugh and responded, "Glory to God."
For all of his comical traits, Gary was a very serious Christian. Each time I visited him in the hospital, without exception, he had recently shared his faith with the person in the bed next to him. Frankly, some conversion attempts appeared to go better than others. But Gary didn't measure success the way some might; he was all about faithfulness, and boldness for God. For many years, Gary had made himself available on Saturday mornings in the church for anyone in need of healing prayer. Each week he placed a sign along the road encouraging anyone to come in, and many did.
As a Messianic Jewish believer, he was determined to see others experience the freedom in Christ that he had come to know. Not long before his death, Gary said, "Joephus, I'm not afraid to die. In fact, I'm actually looking forward to it. I will see Jeshua (Jesus), and it will be happy."
So much more could be said about our dear friend, and you no doubt have a testimony or memory you could share. We will have an opportunity to come together to honor his earthly life and everlasting salvation with a Burial Rite at a time soon to be announced. For now, please keep Gary's wife, Joan, and family in your prayers.
I leave us with words of hope from the service we will offer for Gary from our Book of Common Prayer, pg. 492, and inspired by Revelation 14:13:
Happy from now on
are those who die in the Lord!
So it is, says the Spirit,for they rest from their labors.
Glory to God,
CELEBRATION OF LIFE
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