Gretchen Bingham

Obituary of Gretchen I Bingham

BINGHAM, GRETCHEN I. - 87, passed away peacefully at the AtlantiCare Mainland Regional Medical Center in Galloway, NJ on April 28, 2021. Gretchen was born in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia, PA where she attended the public schools and graduated from Frankford High School in 1951. She was predeceased by her father and mother, Warren C. and Cordelia R. Irelan and her sister Cordelia “Dee” Gerace. She is survived by her sister Dorothy Giatto and brother Bill Irelan (Kathy). She is also survived by her loving family, husband Ralph of 58 years, sons Ralph III and David (Lori), and granddaughters Sarah and Amanda. Gretchen loved God and her Savior Jesus Christ. That was evident in the way she lived her life. At 16 she was confirmed and baptized in the Holmesburg Baptist Church. She was very active in the Absecon, NJ Presbyterian Church after her family moved to Absecon. She was in the youth group, sang in the choir and played the piano during services. After she was married in 1963, Gretchen joined the Absecon United Methodist Church with Ralph. She was active in the UMW, helped with the youth group and held several officer positions. When the family moved to Ocean City, NJ Gretchen joined St. Peter’s United Methodist Church and volunteered many hours for the next 35 years. She taught and played piano in SS, was a member of the Eve Circle of UMW, was Membership Secretary, Delegate to Annual Conference, Recording Secretary of the Church Council and a Stephen Minister. Gretchen was a loving wife, mother and “Mom Mom”. She also loved children who she encountered each day. Babies seemed to know that she was someone they could trust. She worked as a teacher’s helper in the Absecon UMC Nursery School and taught pre-school and kindergarten in SS and VBS in Absecon and Ocean City. Gretchen loved music. She took piano lessons as a child. She used that training as she played the piano in SS in Absecon and OC and played in the Bell Choir at St. Peter’s for over 30 years. She also made a strong commitment to everything she did. She commuted to Philadelphia by train for 2 years to obtain her diploma in Secretarial Studies from Drexel. She set a goal to be Secretary to the President of Atlantic City Electric. With only a couple of years experience she became a secretary for 2 vice-presidents and ultimately reached her goal. After her sons were in high school, she used those skills to help both the Absecon and OC Methodist Church offices to reach more professional standards while she served for nearly 20 years as their Administrative Secretaries and another 20 years as an office volunteer. Gretchen was a community activist. Her father was the Mayor of Absecon, NJ for 14 years. This triggered an interest and commitment to vote as a right that should not be taken lightly. She voted in every General and many Primary Elections in her lifetime. She was a member and officer in many community organizations in Absecon and OC: The Eastern Star, Absecon Women’s Club, The Miss America Hostess Committee, The Absecon Young Republican Club, OC Exchangettes, Colony Club of OC, OC Historic Preservation Commission and The Bd. of Trustees of the OC. Historical Museum. Gretchen’s secretary skills made it inevitable that she would become the secretary of almost every organization she joined. Gretchen also found time to do some things for herself. She loved crafts, to knit, needle point, & do daily crossword puzzles. She was a collector of giraffes, angels, seashells, china & glassware and family antiques. Gretchen enjoyed decorating the house and entertaining friends and family for holidays, birthdays and special occasions. The dining room table was set like a work of art and the meal prepared by her was usually a family favorite. Her time spent with the “Birthday Group” for dinners and trips provided some special memories for nearly 30 years. In her earlier years Gretchen made many of her own clothes and loved to sunbathe on the Brigantine, OC and FL Beaches. She traveled with Ralph and the boys including some memorable trips to Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Australia & New Zealand, Ireland, Europe, Hawaii, the Canadian Maritimes, and many other historical and fun locations in the continental U.S. As she traveled, she always had her camera and a journal to keep notes. We can conclude that Gretchen had a full, interesting and productive earthly life and did her share to make it a better place. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 11:00 am in the Sanctuary at St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in Ocean City, NJ. The visiting time will begin at 9:00 until 10:45 am. A brief “Eastern Star” Service will be conducted prior to the church service. There will be a luncheon and gathering in the church social hall after the service to allow family and friends to continue to celebrate Gretchen’s life. A brief Interment Service will be held at the Absecon, NJ United Methodist Church Cemetery at 2:00 pm. on Sunday, September 19, 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to the St. Peter’s UMC, 501 E. 8th Street, Ocean City, NJ 08226. The funds will be directed to the Pastor Russell Shivers General Endowment.
Saturday
18
September

Visitation

9:00 am - 10:45 am
Saturday, September 18, 2021
St. Peter's United Methodist Church
501 East Eighth Street
Ocean City, New Jersey, United States
Saturday
18
September

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Saturday, September 18, 2021
St. Peter's United Methodist Church
501 East Eighth Street
Ocean City, New Jersey, United States
Sunday
19
September

Graveside Service

2:00 pm
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Absecon United Methodist Church Cemetery
Pitney Road and Church Street
Absecon, New Jersey, United States
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