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Memories & Candles

“One of the joys of my life was that Jeep sang at my wedding (and at sister Joy's and daughter Wendy's) I was drenched in tears at the sheer beauty.My...Read More »
1 of 8 | Posted by: Fay Schoenberg - Moraga, CA

“Dear Candy & Barbara and family,What beautiful tributes & family memories.I knew your Dad & Mom from Highland Glee Club & working with your Mom at...Read More »
2 of 8 | Posted by: Nancy McILwrath - NEEDHAM, MA

“I'd like to leave a memory of the words I (barely) spoke on Pops-s behalf at the funeral yesterday:"Today we say goodbye to a great man. A husband of...Read More »
3 of 8 | Posted by: Robert Franz - Indianapolis, IN

“Dear Candy, Rick, Barbara, Jerome, and familiesJoe and I send our deepest sympathy in memory of your sweet "Jeeper".We loved him too and will...Read More »
4 of 8 | Posted by: Joy Hehr - Tiffin, OH - Family

“Dear Barbara,I am so very sorry for the loss of your Dad. I was glad to get to know your Dad through you. It's so hard when our parents leave us,...Read More »
5 of 8 | Posted by: Rita DiCataldo - Baldwin, NY

“My Dad was my rock! He was my pal. As a child, I was like the son he never had. We went to baseball games, we thru the football in the yard, we...Read More »
6 of 8 | Posted by: Barbara Perlongo - Daughter

“Sorry for your loss. May the "God of all comfort," help to ease the pain of your grief during this time.(1 Cor 1:3-7) ”
7 of 8 | Posted by: A friend

“Uncle John had a big influence on my life! Loved him like a father. He was always positive and cheerful when we had occasion to meet. Even snitched...Read More »
8 of 8 | Posted by: david secrist - macedon, NY


Navy Emblem

John Leonard Secrist, beloved husband of the late Muriel (Gifford) of Medfield, brother of the late Richard Secrist of Webster, NY, and resident at the Brookdale Senior Living facility in Framingham, MA, passed peacefully from this life on February 20 at the age of 93.

Born in Toledo, OH on May 29, 1924 to George and Adelaide Secrist, John (affectionately nicknamed "Jeeper" by family and friends) showed great musical promise at Parkersburg High School, WVA: singing in a 4-person acapella madrigal group, as a vocal church soloist, and lead trombonist in his all-male national awarding-winning marching band.

Majoring in pre-med, he attended Green Mt College and later enrolled in Middlebury College's Naval Midshipmen Program, ultimately being recommended to officer training school in Indiana. While at Middlebury, John organized what was to become a very popular dance band that performed at other New England colleges as well as at home.

He served in the Navy during 1943-1946 and sailed on the LST 1091 in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. He remained with the Navy in their Reserves Program for 20 years and attained the level of Lieutenant Commander.

He married his high school sweetheart, Muriel Gifford, in 1948 and finished his Bachelor's degree in Science at Ohio State as a Bacteriology major. He later received his Masters in Science from the U of Pittsburgh. He worked for HJ Heinz Co in Pittsburgh, William Underwood Co in Watertown, MA, and US Army Labs in Natick, MA, where he was involved in food technology and quality control, and developing products for the space and military programs.

John participated in several musical endeavors in the Boston area: Needham Community Theatre, paid soloist at the Carter United Methodist Church in Needham, MetroWest Community Band under the late Gerry Ash, and sang in both the Newton-based Highland Men's Glee Club and the Cambridge-based Masterworks Chorale for 30 years.

John leaves his two daughters Claudia Hopewell and her husband Richard of Medfield and Barbara Perlongo and her husband Jerome of Baldwin, NY, grandsons Jonathan Hopewell and wife Wendy of N Attleboro, Michael Hopewell of NYC, and Robert Franz of Indianapolis, IN, great-grandsons Tyler and Gavin Hopewell of N Attleboro, niece Lynne Secrist and nephews David, Mark and John Secrist.
Interment services with Military Honors will be held at the MA National Cemetery, Bourne MA on Friday, March 16 at 11:30 am. Gifts of remembrance may be made to the Veterans Administration on his behalf.