• VENTNOR – An engineering consultant last week recommended ways the city can become more sustainable and resilient to storms in the wake of hurricane Sandy.

    Stewart Weiser of Remington, Vernick and Walberg presented his Strategic Recovery Planning Report to the Board of Commissioners at its Sept. 17 meeting. The report was funded with a $30,000 grant that was made available to communities in the nine counties most affected by the storm. To qualify, municipalities had to show they lost at least $1 million in ratables as a result of the storm.

  • LONGPORT – The Borough Commission Sept. 17 passed a resolution that approved all the necessary documentation to start the long-awaited dunes project.

    Mayor Nicholas Russo signed an authorization for a state aid agreement with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to construct the Brigantine to Great Egg Harbor Inlet Storm Damage Reduction Project

  • VENTNOR – The City Commission, Planning Board and Planning and Zoning Department are considering changes to the zoning and building codes to address a number of issues.

    On Aug. 21, the commission asked the Planning Board to review zoning for the R-7 District, which is zoned single family. The commission is asking planners to consider allowing duplexes as a conforming use in the zone.

    According to Zoning Officer Jimmy Agnesino, the area was once zoned for multifamily dwellings, but in the 1990s the city rezoned it for single family only.

Anne Leeds remembered at funeral Mass

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Hundreds wait in line to pay their respects to the family of Anne Leeds. Hundreds wait in line to pay their respects to the family of Anne Leeds. LONPORT – Hundreds of people turned out amid cloudy skies Thursday, June 5 to say goodbye to Anne Leeds, who was tragically killed in a plane crash that took the lives of all seven on board May 31 including her summertime neighbor, billionaire philanthropist Lewis Katz.

The line stretched around the block as people waited to pay their respects to the Leeds family. Before the Mass began, her husband, Longport Commissioner James Leeds Sr. stepped out of the church to greet those still waiting in line.

Anne T. Leeds Anne T. Leeds Leeds, 74, is the grandmother of nine and mother of four adult children, who paid her the highest tribute in their eulogies at a funeral Mass at Holy Trinity Parish, Church of the Epiphany in Longport.

The retired nursery school teacher grew up in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia and eventually married her lifeguard sweetheart.

She was devoted to children and joined Katz and two other friends at the last minute Saturday afternoon on a plane ride to Bedford, Mass., to attend an educational fundraiser at the home of historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Their return trip to Atlantic City International Airport never left the ground. Katz’s Gulfstream IV corporate jet crashed into a communication tower and landed in an embankment.

The explosion that followed took the lives of all seven souls on board, including Katz; Leeds; Marcella M. Dalsey, 59, of Haddonfield, president of the KATZ Academy Charter School; Susan Asbell, 68, of Cherry Hill and Margate. The three crew members killed in the crash were Pilot James McDowell of Georgetown, Delaware; flight attendant Teresa Benhoff, 48, of Easton, Maryland; and Co-pilot Bauke "Mike" de Vries, 45, of Marlton.

Each of her children said their mother epitomized the meaning of “love.”

Her son Jim read a prayer Anne Leeds wrote asking for blessings for the children she taught.

“Help us to be positive and responsible role models, sensitive to their particular needs for love, understanding and comfort in this often insensitive world,” Jim Leeds Jr. read.

Her daughter, Patellen Coor, encouraged those present to take something of her mother away from the church so that she lives on.

“There’s a lot to choose from: her humble faith, her great love for Christ, her giving spirit, her welcoming nature, infectious smile or her great sense of humor, her gratitude for all she had or her lifelong philosophy of ‘enough is a feast,’ her love of simplicity, her respect and deep devotion for children, her love for the written word, her unique ability to never say a bad word about another person or her unwavering love of her family. If you ever come across a piece of sea glass on the beach, you’ll know it’s a gift from her,” Coor said.

Ryan, 34, the youngest of the Leeds children, said he had a special bond with his mother and they had their favorite songs, which he said epitomized what was so special about her. One was “What a Wonderful World,” performed by Louis Armstrong.

“This song truly was my mom, because she was so happy and so humble. All around her, what she saw was God’s beauty in the faces of family and strangers,” he said. “To my mom, love was all that there was. She didn’t need a special occasion to love, she loved every day. Love was everything and my mom loved you all.”

Son Ted said he had the “best mother in the world,” who was always there for him and his siblings.

“When you think about how much love my mother gave in her life, whether to her kids, grandkids or someone walking down 36th (Avenue) with a peek from behind her book and a smile, that’s a love that she got back over her life. That’s something to think about as you go through your life. When it’s your time, when you’re lying in there, what’s going to be going through everyone’s mind who comes to see you? If you live your life with love, people are going to love you,” he said.

Ted Leeds said his mother was a “simple person. She didn’t need a lot to make her happy. She needed the love of her children, a good book, her daily walks on the beach. And, she loved to laugh…and Dad,” he said.

She also received high praise from her pastor.

“Anne was the cornerstone of Holy Trinity Parish,” who helped build the parish and revived Longport’s Blessing of the Sea tradition, Rev. Joseph R. Ferrara said.

Although her death was a tragedy, she was lifted up to perfection, and was a blessing to the parish, he said.

“Anne was the light, she was an angel of the Lord, she is a woman of faith,” Rev. Farrara said. “She was an expression of God.”

A private burial will be held at a later time.


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