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Provide comfort for the family by sending flowers or planting a tree in memory of The Rev. Herbert Draesel
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The Rev. Herbert (Bert) Draesel, Jr., Rector Emeritus of the Church of the Holy Trinity, New York, NY died on January 14th, 2023 at the age of 82. He suffered a stroke just before Christmas, and he died peacefully at home, surrounded by family and... Read More
The Rev. Herbert (Bert) Draesel, Jr., Rector Emeritus of the Church of the Holy Trinity, New York, NY died on January 14th, 2023 at the age of 82. He suffered a stroke just before Christmas, and he died peacefully at home, surrounded by family and friends. Bert is survived by his beloved wife, Ada Morey Draesel and his daughters, Margaret Anastas and Irene Todd; his sons-in-law, Greg Anastas and Chris Todd; and grandchildren Owen, Zoe, Olivia, Marnie, Eliza and Natalie.
In addition to having been a spiritual father, mentor, and friend to parishioners, deacons, priests, and bishops, Bert always maintained strong friendships beyond the church, with people from all aspects of his life.
Bert grew up in Harrington Park, NJ and attended Dwight Englewood School (previously Englewood School for Boys) and then attended Trinity College (1961). During his senior year, Bert’s intention was to follow the path of his father and become a lawyer. However, while walking between classes on the Trinity campus, he suddenly realized that his true calling was the priesthood. Bert enrolled into General Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1964 at the House of Prayer, Newark, NJ, a place where he navigated the complicated 1960’s dynamics of race, class, and economic injustice. Bert developed skills and abilities in Newark that he carried with him through a lifetime of ministry. After serving as rector of the House of Prayer, he was called as rector of St. Mary the Virgin, Chappaqua, NY, and then rector of Grace Church, White Plains, NY. There he began and nurtured programs for children, youth, the homeless, and older adults.
In 1984, Bert accepted the call as rector of the Church of the Holy Trinity, where he remained for nineteen years. At Holy Trinity, he helped grow the parish in virtually every direction: financially, spiritually, programmatically, and musically. His personality deepened the parish’s founding D.N.A. as a community center- regardless of theological perspective, economic situation, race, class, gender, or sexual orientation. He helped to found Holy Trinity Neighborhood Center, Inc., the Draesel Fund for Children, and the Property Preservation Trust, which is the church’s endowment for building preservation.
Throughout his years, Bert’s love of music was interwoven in every aspect of his life, especially the ministry. When Bert retired from Holy Trinity in 2003, he enrolled in the Graduate Musical Theater Writer Program at New York University, where he received a Masters in Fine Arts, continuing to write and produce musicals. Bert’s musicals include Bouncing Back and Everyman which was produced by Triangle Theater; Meteor Girl was produced by La Mama and Troubadour, a story of St. Francis, which has received 3 separate off-off broadway productions. Bert's religious music, Rejoice and Celebration was recorded by Scepter Records, and Now Hymns for Children was published by E. B. Marks Co.
Throughout his whole life, Bert followed God’s Spirit to develop his own blend of creativity and spirituality, which he shared freely and joyfully with all.
Thanksgiving for the Life of The Rev. Herbert G. Draesel, Jr. on Saturday, February 25th, 2023, 11:00am at The Church of the Holy Trinity, 316 East 88th Street, New York, NY 10128. Reception in Draesel Hall to follow.
Memorial gifts may be made to The Church of the Holy Trinity Draesel Fund for the Restoration of the Bell Tower.
O’Brien Funeral Home, 505 Burnt Tavern Rd, Brick, NJ handled the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.obrienfuneralhome.com
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of The Rev. Herbert here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.
PLEASE NOTE: The reproduction of any copyrighted images is forbidden without express written permission from the copyright holder. We reserve the right to delete, without warning or notice, any image in violation of any copyright laws.
By subscribing to email updates, you will receive two daily updates containing all new stories, photos, condolences, and more. You will also receive a one-time email, one week prior to the anniversary of death. The email will only serve as a reminder should you choose to connect with the family at what will no doubt be a difficult time.
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