Obituary of Reverend George A. Imhoff
Reverend George Adam Imhoff passed away peacefully on November 27, 2023, at the age of 81. He was born and raised in Ridgewood Queens, the younger son of German immigrants, Meta and Theodore Imhoff. George graduated from Brooklyn Tech High School in 1960 with a focus in architecture, later earning a B.A. degree from Nyack College, and then his Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1968.
George heard God’s call to ministry while working as a counselor at a Christian summer camp in high school. Not long after, he met his lifelong sweetheart, Edith Hamp, at a church youth gathering. They married in 1964 and were blessed with 59 wonderful years together.
During seminary, George was a student pastor in Ridgefield Park. After ordination, he served at United Methodist churches in New Providence, Wharton, Kearny, Montville, and Morristown. In 1991, George was appointed as the Senior Pastor in Denville, where he spent 20 years at the Denville Community Church before retiring to Toms River in 2011. He committed himself to pastoral ministry for 43 years and truly loved the many people he felt privileged to serve and work with in both his churches and local community. George had a knack for remembering names and enjoyed getting to know folks and learning about them. As a lover of stories, he sought to share God’s love as a storyteller, weaving humor, anecdotes, and inspirational illustrations into his weekly sermons. Often, he was told that the reflections he shared were just what someone needed to hear that week. We are deeply grateful for his Spirit-led leadership. George was honored to be part of numerous baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and memorials, and his visits or conversations to encourage, offer compassion, or join in celebration gave him deep fulfillment. If George knew you, he esteemed you as a person of immeasurable worth as a child of God and did his best to let that show.
George’s church related involvements included the Board of Deaconal Ministry, Chaplaincy Board of Morristown Memorial Hospital, Board of Ordained Ministry, and Northern New Jersey Conference Coordinator, Associate Editor, and Advertising Manager of the United Methodist Relay newspaper for 21 years. The Relay offered George opportunities to share his exceptional writing skills and he looked forward to the fellowship of their staff meetings. His civic and community group service included Youth Council, Senior Citizens Advisory, Charter Member of Wharton Rotary, Optimist and Kiwanis Clubs.
George was a devoted and loving husband, father, and Opa, who always made time for his family. Deeply caring and an excellent listener, he always encouraged, supported, and delighted in his family’s individuality, talents, achievements, but most importantly, their presence. His loving example of faithfulness to God was a gift and an inspiration.
George enjoyed summer vacations in the Poconos with Edith and his girls and liked to be outdoors provided it did not include cutting the lawn or cleaning the gutters. After a youthful dalliance with camping, he gained an undying affection for air conditioning. He shared his love of reading with his daughters and grandsons on couches and long car rides and leaves behind countless tomes both read and unread as a testament to his bibliophilia. When leaving the house, George always had three things at the ready, a handkerchief, a pen, and index cards in his shirt pocket. A baseball fan since boyhood, after his Brooklyn Dodgers moved to LA, George enjoyed following the exploits of the Mets. He was a casual stamp collector early in life and enjoyed playing the accordion, sometimes serenading Ridgewood neighbors who would toss coins out their windows as “tips”. Youthful jobs included baling hay at Liberty Corner, working at Trunz Meat Plant, and selling door to door for Fuller Brush Company. George was an expert in wordplay, whether penning a limerick, deftly delivering a pun, authoring an acrostic, achieving unbeatable scores in Scrabble, or crafting a sermon on his trusty Olympia typewriter, he truly had a way with words. He often employed his talent for calligraphy when writing greeting cards, savored the Sunday newspaper, and despite his allergies, adored the companionship of dogs, especially his Brandi. George retained his affinity for the German cuisine of his childhood as well as cinnamon chewing gum, and he never came across a box he couldn’t find a use for. Although he was a connoisseur of good food, his chef skills were usually put to use in excellent breakfasts and the occasional Dagwood sandwich. There was always a supply of menthol cough drops (or lozenges as he referred to them) at his pulpit to soothe any tickle that might disturb his sermonic delivery. George had a fabulous sense of humor enjoying clever jokes and a joyful outlook that you felt in his presence. If he wasn’t at church, you were likely to pass him at the grocery store or post office where he would greet you with a warm smile and ready laugh.
Retirement was bittersweet as it brought him the chance to spend time with family while he strove to withstand the physical limitations that his Parkinson’s diagnosis imposed. The last 12 years were filled with the loving companionship of Edith and memorable times with his daughters, sons-in-law, and four grandsons who were the light of his life. He remained faithful, uncomplaining, and persevered in hope until the end. While George will be forever missed, his sure faith in God’s promise of life eternal is a great comfort knowing he is restored and rejoicing in the arms of Jesus.
George is survived by his beloved wife, Edith Lilly (Hamp) Imhoff, his loving daughters Melissa and her husband Brian Danielson of Grove City, PA, and Adrienne and her husband Michael Vacanti of Rockaway Twp, NJ. Also surviving are cherished grandsons, Asher and Joshua Danielson and Bryce and Myles Vacanti. George’s brother Theodore Imhoff and his wife Carol of Corning, NY, his nephews John and wife Ann Imhoff of Nassau, NY and Eric and his wife Amy Imhoff of Waterloo, NY all survive him.
A memorial service will be held on Friday December 29, 2023, at 11:00AM at Denville Community United Methodist Church 190 Diamond Spring Road Denville, NJ 07834 under the direction of Norman Dean Home for Services 16 Righter Avenue Denville, NJ 07834 www.normandean.com.
Memorial donations can be made in his memory to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee On Relief) – Where Most Needed or to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research by way of
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