Beef and beer benefit celebrates life spent helping others

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Howard Minnichbach in a recent picture working with the Southern Counties Amateur Radio Association. Howard Minnichbach in a recent picture working with the Southern Counties Amateur Radio Association.

 If You Go

Beef ’n’ beer benefit for Howard Minnichbach

5-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27

Galloway Elks Lodge 2845

120 S. New York Road, Galloway

Admission is $20

Call (609) 338-2251

 

 

 

GALLOWAY – Elks Lodge 2845 is hosting a beef ’n’ beer benefit 5-9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 for the family of the late Howard Minnichbach of Egg Harbor Township at 120 S. New York Road.

A member of the lodge, Minnichbach was exalted ruler for Elks lodges in Atlantic City and Marmora.

“He was known for his volunteerism; he was always helping others,” said Lynn Fogle, longtime friend. “Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts – he was there. Radio Club, emergency management – he did that.”

He was more than just a member, according to Fogle; he volunteered as DJ for many Galloway Elks events.

Minnichbach, 53, was a former member of Egg Harbor Township school board, an active member and lay speaker at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church of Northfield, disaster services coordinator for the church, and an active volunteer of Arc of Atlantic County.

When he died Saturday, Oct. 13, Minnichbach was president of the Southern Counties Amateur Radio Association and assistant emergency coordinator for Atlantic County Amateur Radio Emergency Services.

Fogle said Minnichbach contracted a rare illness in April, but was well on the road to recovery at the time of his unexpected death this month.

A benefit was already planned to help with medical expenses, she said.

“He was in the hospital for quite some time due to a severe medical issue and multiple surgeries,” Fogle said. “Then, prior to him coming home, he and his wife lost their home due to the derecho storm that we had in July. They have no health insurance, tons of medical bills and no home.”

He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Rosemarie Rempfer Minnichbach; his mother-in-law, Kathleen Rempfer; his daughters, Rebecca Eisele (husband Joe) and Michelle Hodac (husband Chris); grandsons, Dylan Eisele and Alexander Hodac; sister in-law, Pat Morgan (husband Greg); and nephews, Ryan and Nick Morgan.

Minnichbach worked in the slot machine department at Trump Plaza for 19 years.

“Of all his activities, his greatest love now was the performing arts program of Arc of Atlantic County,” Fogle said.

“I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing Howard since our freshman year of high school, which was seemingly yesterday sometimes and eons ago right now,” Fogle said at Minnichbach’s funeral. “That was 1973.”

They remained friends through the years, she said.

“For as far back as I can remember, Howard has always been community-oriented – clubs in school, especially the theater and audiovisual endeavors; Atlantic City fire reserves; Elks; Atlantic City Volunteer Ambulance Squad – the list is too numerous to mention. He gave everything he ever did – as long as I have known him – his all, the entire time always finding the time for his family and friends.”

Fogle said she introduced her future husband to Minnichbach while they were still dating, and the men became instant friends.

“My husband had a dream to start a drum corps for youth in this county,” she said. “We brought Howard and Rose in automatically, when we got married. Rose made our wedding photo album.”

The couples lost touch for a while until being reunited by chance as ham radio operators.

The Fogles became active in radio society, while the Minnichbachs joined them in the Elks.

“When my husband had a fatal heart attack in September of 2011, Howard was the first one at the house, even while the ambulance was still there,” Fogle said. “He organized my husband’s memorial and participated in the service… my band of brothers, as I call them, have made sure that I was busy and didn’t have time to dwell too much on losing my husband.” 

She spoke of his initial reluctance to seek medical help in April and how Minnichbach was always quick to be a giver.

“If more people were as giving as Howard, there would be less problems in the world,” Fogle said. “Like I put on my husband’s urn, always on our mind and forever in our hearts. And, like we ended all our conversations, ‘Talk to ya later.’”

Those unable to attend the benefit can mail donations to the family c/o the Elks Lodge, 120 S. New York Road, Galloway, NJ 08205.


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