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Photo by Fritz Rethage  ·    Posted December 26, 2005

Bob Mees: One Life of Service

It’s Sunday morning a couple of hours before the 10:00 o’clock service and there’s Bob Mees bringing in coffee and supplies needed for coffee hour.

As Deacon of Community Church of Christ (CUCC) located on the corner of the Boulevard and Charlton in Hasbrouck Heights, Bob Mees would prepare the altar with the appropriate vestments for each Sunday and then return about an hour before service and make the coffee for fellowship after the service. He even stayed to the end and cleaned up.

He took care of the church building by calling the repair men to fix the roof, arranging for snow removal and yard work, and calling the plumbers and, as Deacon and Treasurer, took care of all financial matters.

Bob Mees was a dedicated Board Member at CUCC and he and his wife Joyce were the first couple to be married in this church.

But the story of his service does not end there. You see, not only did he serve the church tirelessly, but his second love next to his wife and family was his service as a volunteer firefighter for the Lodi Fire Department.

He served for 50 years as a volunteer in many capacities. He served as Fire Chief as well as Fire Chaplain to the men and women.

One Sunday morning he was so enthused and desired to share with us what he had prepared for the service. You could see his love and dedication not only to those he served with, but also to the position of Chaplain, bringing inspiration and wisdom to the men and women.

Bob Mees made his transition on December 4, 2005.

The Lodi Fire Department and Police Department came to the wake at Alesso Funeral Home in Lodi and Peter Cristiana, Chaplain, gave a fitting eulogy not only to honor his service but to show appreciation for the man who was Bob Mees.

Bob did all these things quietly and with such joy and gratitude in his heart for the opportunity to serve.

He was more than the jobs he performed, he was first a man with a spirit of joy and enthusiasm for whatever he did.

At the wake his daughter, mentioned that he made chicken soup the Friday before his passing. He and his family ate his "famous chicken soup" together that Saturday night. He loved to cook and on Sunday mornings we would hear what he was going to cook when the family got together on holidays.

He will be missed not only because of what he did but because his spirit and faith carried him through whatever the challenge that lay before him.

Those of us at Community United Church of Christ will remember him for his service to the church but most of all for his warm smile, his sense of humor and his warm hand shake as he greeted each one at the door as we entered the church and later after service before we so-journed for coffee and fellowship.

On the day of his funeral service given by CUCC’s Associate Minister, Rev. Edward Glasser, men from the Lodi Fire Department carried his casket into the church.

There were several fire trucks outside and there was Lodi Truck 1, Bob’s truck, decorated with his firefighting turn-out gear as they drove past his house and on to the Lodi Cemetery. He was one of six Directors of the cemetery.

Bob is survived by his wife, Joyce, a son, Bob, living in Wyoming, and a daughter, Korry Gianni, who is married and living in Hasbrouck Heights with her three children. ###

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