Avis C. Fleckenstein of Ramsey passed on to life eternal on July 1, 2021. Born in Brooklyn, NY on May 1, 1934 she was the daughter of Edward and Marion Fleckenstein and sister of Jeanne F. Tonjes.
She was a graduate of Brooklyn College and The Biblical Seminary in New York, from which she earned a Master’s in Religious Education degree. In 1959, she was called by the First Presbyterian Church in Ramsey to serve as its first Director of Christian Education, a position she held for forty-one years until her retirement.
Engaged in ministry with a succession of Pastors and lay volunteers, she provided educational programs for all ages, including intergenerational learning “extravaganzas” for both the congregation and community. For eighteen years she directed an Ecumenical Music Camp for the children of the Ramsey churches, sharing her curriculum with churches nationwide. When the church dedicated its new pipe-organ in 1978, the position of Director of Music was added to her responsibilities. Under her leadership the choirs grew in membership and reached new heights musically. An ordained Elder in the denomination, she was also a member of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators, the Ramsey Clergy Association and the Palisades Presbytery Christian Education Committee where she served as chairperson. In 2000, amidst festive celebrations, she retired from the church she loved, and soon united with a new family of faith at the Old Paramus Reformed Church in Ridgewood, where she volunteered in the Chancel Choir, the Women’s Guild, Worship-Design team and on the Pastoral Search Committee.
She will be remembered for her joyful commitment to her Lord and Savior, love for people of all ages, creativity with words and music and for encouraging everyone to bless the spiritual lives of others along life’s journey.
Avis is survived by her two nieces, Debra Tonjes-Zaccaro, and Susan Alessi and Susan’s children, Danielle, Richard Edward and Nicholas. She also leaves behind dear friends, the Dreisbach and Groehnert families, including her beloved adopted grandchildren, Charlotte, Tommy, Jason and Jacqueline, as well as many dear church friends.
A visitation will be held on Thursday July 8, 9:30 to 11:00 AM at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ. A service of resurrection will follow at 12 Noon at the Old Paramus Reformed Church, 660 East Glen Ave., Ridgewood, NJ 07450. Interment will be in the Union Cemetery in Ramsey.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 15 Shuart Lane, Ramsey, NJ 07446 or the Old Paramus Reformed Church.
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