Rev Lester (Gene) Eberhart

August 6, 1936November 23, 2021

Reverend L. Gene Eberhart went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Gene was born in New Bethlehem, PA on August 6, 1936. He attended Red Bank High School and then Eastern Baptist College. Gene continued his educational journey with a teaching certificate and a Master of Arts degree from Trenton State College and a Master of Divinity from New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Gene was ordained as an Elder in June of 1991.

Gene moved to Trenton, NJ in 1960 to begin his career as a music teacher. Gene taught middle school music for 24 years followed by kindergarten music for an additional 3 years in the New Jersey school system. Gene was also the high school wrestling coach at Lakewood High School. Gene was inducted into the Lakewood Athletic Hall of Fame for his accomplishments in coaching. Gene retired from teaching in 1987 and went back to school to earn his Masters in Divinity and began his second career as a Methodist minister which lasted 17 years. Gene officially retired from the ministry in 2001. Gene never lost his love for music and was a member of several local bands - The Ocean County College Concert Band, Pineland Symphonic Band and the Lakewood Municipal Band playing the trumpet. Gene was the choir director at several churches and gave private music lessons. Gene also played guitar, piano, French horn, and the recorder.

Gene lived a life full of family, God and music. Gene loved children, camping, Roy Rogers, Penn State, wrestling, Broadway musicals, and of course, playing with his seven great-grandchildren. Gene never met a person that he didn’t start a conversation with. He loved to talk and considered everyone his friend. Gene also made many new friends through music. On family camping trips, Gene would pull out his guitar and start singing around the campfire. Everyone who could hear his song felt drawn to the warmth of his voice and the glow of the fire.

Gene was predeceased by his parents, Lester and Helen Eberhart. He is survived by his wife of 48 years Nelda Eberhart, his sister Beverly Calhoun and 3 nephews. Gene is also survived by his children Donna (John) VanPelt, Carla (Chris) Coyne, Roxanne (Ed) Lynn, Beth Eberhart, Michael (Daniel) Eberhart, John Mohr, his 8 grandchildren Christopher Coyne, Amanda Lynn, Rebecca VanPelt, Jessica Hooper, Tim VanPelt, Katlyn Lynn, Tanner Mohr, Rose Mohr and 7 great-grandchildren Kieran, Eliza, Penny, Charlie, Connor, Maven and Daisy.

A visitation will be held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 from 10:00-11:00 with a prayer service at 11:00am at the Thos L. Shinn Funeral Home, 10 Hilliard Dr., Manahawkin, NJ. Committal service will follow immediately at Ocean County Memorial Park, Waretown, NJ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude’s Children's hospital in Gene’s memory.


  • Visitation

    Thursday, December 2, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, December 2, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, December 2, 2021


Rev Lester (Gene) Eberhart

have a memory or condolence to add?

Wiliam Barron

December 2, 2021

So sorry to hear of Gene's passing. I fondly remember Gene when I was in 7th grade at the Princeton Ave. School. We used to play football with Gene on the playground. He taught me how to play the flutophone in 8th.grade. I then had the extreme pleasure of working with Gene for 13 years at Lakewood Middle School until he retired. Even then he still helped me with different music questions I had. He was truly a wonderful teacher and colleague. Thank you Gene.

Ron Palmisano

December 1, 2021

I have to many fond memories to begin to try and list them. Gene and Nelda touched my family in so many ways, I’m sure my wife was there to great him when he arrived in heaven. He held a special place in her heart, as well as mine. I will miss you and my thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
Ron Palmisano

Estelle Cohen

November 30, 2021

My condolences to Nelda and the family. I have only fond memories of Gene during our years together at Lakewood Middle School. He had a friendly disposition and a very caring and kind heart. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.

Dale Whilden

November 29, 2021

Gene was an enthusiastic and genuine pastor who loved the Lord and shared that love with all he met. He, along with the great assistance of Rev. Jim and Mary Ann Davis, was very instrumental in helping to provide funds and equipment for our dental mission teams that blessed uncountable numbers of patients in Central and South American countries. Gene exemplified a concern for the needy and less fortunate that inspired others to ‘go and do likewise’ with their giving and service.