Around the Island

Shelter Island Garden Club Memorial at Union Chapel

he 87th annual Garden Club Memorial Sunday will take place at Union Chapel on Aug. 6 at 10:30 a.m. Members of the Garden Club who passed away in the last year will be memorialized with a rose, a remembrance and the tolling of the antique Chapel bell.

Garden Club President Jean McClintock will speak on behalf of the Club; Suzanne Louer will read the Scriptures; Joan Buonocore will arrange flowers for the altar and Carolyn Stromberg for the reception table.

The Memorial will honor the following Garden Club members: Jean Brechter, Phyllis Gillespie, Carol Russell, and Yioula Van Rynbach.

About the Garden Club

The ladies of the Garden Club design, plant and tend the gardens in front of both post offices, the Shelter Island Library, and Wilson Circle, among other places. One of the longtime members described it as, “From its beginning, the Garden Club of Shelter Island has reflected the affection and dedication of Shelter Islanders — women who were willing to work and who had incredible creative talents.”

They create wreaths for the Memorial Day ceremony, host garden tour fundraisers and sell a unique, much-sought-after ornament at Christmas. As an entity, the Garden Club aims “to stimulate the knowledge and love of horticulture, gardening and flower arranging. It is dedicated to promoting interest in wayside plantings and home gardens and to protect and enhance the natural beauty of Shelter Island, its roadsides and shorelines.” 

The service will also see the return of an old friend, Pastor Bill Grimbol. Guest musicians are Chapel Trustee Christopher Herman playing cello and Jed Feldman on flute.

About Pastor Bill

While pastor of the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, he devoted much of his time to working with teens. Island kids remember Pastor Bill fondly, as a leader of the youth group and author of “Buddha In Your Backpack” and “Jesus In Your Backpack: A Teen’s Guide to Spiritual Wisdom.” 

Pastor Bill retired from the Presbyterian Church in 2011 and returned to Holy Communion Lutheran Church. His wife, Patty, passed away in 2013, and he took time away from teaching and preaching. In 2020, he moved to Vermont to join his son, daughter-in-law and grandchild. His blog, “Soul Provider: Short Stories, Lifetime Lessons,” can be viewed at

About our Guest Musicians

Christopher Herman joined the Union Chapel Board of Trustees in 2020. He and his wife, Christina, live in Washington, D.C. and have a home in the Heights.

Jed Feldman was raised in a musical family, studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston and with many NYC musicians. Both Christopher (as an actor) and Jed (playing flute) recently performed in the Shelter Island Historical Society’s summer musical, “The Lords of Menantic.”

Sunday’s indoor service will be followed by an outdoor reception, sponsored by the Garden Club. Next week: Celebrating Art Sunday, featuring the work of local artists. Rev. Candace Whitman will preach.