March 9, 2020

Dear Friends,

It is with tremendous sadness that I share the news of the passing of one of our very finest, Russell “Junie” Hockenbury, one of our groundskeepers. Junie died this morning at Morristown Memorial Hospital, and the arrangements will be posted on our website once they have been finalized.
Junie first started working as a farmhand on our campus in 1945. His love of horses was legendary, and he kept his own on the campus until last month. Most of the time, Junie could be seen on a tractor, making sure that all our fields looked their best, especially the athletic ones. In the past decade, he and his wife Lois were loyal supporters of our boys’ and girls’ basketball teams, never missing a game.

This is a day that many of us thought would never come; Junie, being of the land, seemed just as timeless. In fact, he came to work each day until just a few weeks ago. It now falls upon others to open the gates to our campus each day, cut the grass, and carry forward the mantle of stewardship that was his for almost 75 years.

I ask that you please keep Lois and their family in your prayers throughout the coming days and weeks.
Gill St. Bernard’s is a private, coeducational day school for students age three through grade 12, located in suburban New Jersey. Each of the three school divisions provides a rigorous, meaningful, and age-appropriate curriculum, and all students benefit from the environmental learning opportunities that exist on our 208-acre campus.