Drew Mourns the Passing of the Rev. Dr. Edward J. Wynne Jr.


May 15, 1932 – August 23, 2021


The Rev. Dr. Edward James Wynne, Jr., completed his earthly journey peacefully on August 23, 2021, surrounded by his family. They will miss him, as will the countless others whose lives he touched through his ministry.

Born May 15, 1932, in Milton, Massachusetts, the oldest of the four children of Edward J. Wynne, Sr., and Charlotte Kingston Moore, Ed was an Eagle Scout, graduated from The Boston English High School, and earned a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from Northeastern University. While serving in the Army, he followed his heart to direct his education and career to the ministry. He received his M. Div. in 1962 from the Drew Theological School in Madison, N.J., and Ph.D. from the New York University School of Education in 1971.

He served a number of churches in the former Newark and Northern New Jersey Conferences (now the Greater New Jersey Conference): 1959–61, Vienna and Janes Chapel; 1961–62, Barryville and Eldred; 1962–68 Parsippany; 1968–71 Bernardsville; 1971–80, Caldwell; 1981–87, NNJ Conference Council Director; 1987–97, Westwood.

He always said that over the years he had one foot in the parish and the other in the Annual Conference. During his 37 years of active ministry, he served as: Chair, Youth Work Department, Board of Education; President, Board of Education; Chair, Coordination of Program and Budget, Conference Council on Ministries; Chair, Conference Structure Committee; Member, Conference Board of Ordained Ministry; Conference Secretarial Staff; Conference Secretary; Chair, District Committee on Church Location and Building; Chair, District Committee on the Superintendency; Member, Conference Strategic Planning Commission; Member, Conference Council on Finance & Administration; and NNJ’s first Conference Council Director.

An active member of the Drew Theological School Alumni/ae Executive Committee, he was elected to Drew University’s Board of Trustees for four consecutive terms beginning in 1986, retiring as Trustee Emeritus in 2002. He received the Distinguished Alumni/ae Service Award in 2008. He was an active Rotarian, serving as Charter President in Parsippany, and a term as President in the Caldwell Club.

His service did not end with his retirement in 1997 and his move to Damariscotta, Maine. He routinely served as interim pastor for a variety of local denominations, conducted countless funerals and weddings, volunteered as a chaplain at Miles Hospital, sang in a hospice choir, and taught courses for the Coastal Senior College.

On June 23, 1956, Ed married Bonnie Rae Beukelman, his loyal companion, true partner, and wife of over 65 years. They raised three children and welcomed four granddaughters.

Ed loved spending time with family, especially reading to his beloved granddaughters and relaxing in Maine every summer as he and Bonnie raised their children. He delighted in landing bad puns, beating (sometimes) family in Scrabble, and a good lemon meringue pie. He never turned his back on science—he taught classes on science and religion, repaired old clocks, and was an accomplished ham radio operator.

Ed is survived by: his wife Bonnie Wynne; children Janet Owen and husband Hugh of Silver Spring, Maryland, Edward (“Ted”) J. Wynne III and wife Elizabeth Hendler of Harvard, Massachusetts, and Roger Wynne and wife Esther Bartfeld of Seattle, Washington; granddaughters Amey Owen of Gainesville, Florida, Kathryn Owen of Laurel, Maryland, Leigh Wynne of Watertown, Massachusetts, and Avigail Wynne of Harvard, Massachusetts; sister Janet Wynne of Newcastle, Maine; and brother Douglas Wynne and wife Judy of Plainville, Massachusetts.

During a private family service, Ed will be interred in Hillside Cemetery, Damariscotta, Maine. His family will host a memorial service when safety allows.

Because Ed, Bonnie, and Janet Wynne have been grateful residents of the Lincoln Home in Newcastle, Maine since 2016, and to enable others to enjoy that community, memorial donations may be made to the Resident Financial Assistance Fund c/o the Lincoln Home, 22 River Road, Newcastle, ME 04553-3853.