Richard Lester Shimpfky

Mountainair, Torrance County, New Mexico, USA
Death 28 Feb 2011 (aged 70)
Ridgewood, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
Burial Ridgewood, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA
Memorial ID 66530182 · View Source
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The Rt. Reverend Richard L. Shimpfky DD
Richard "Dick" Shimpfky, 70, died Feb 28 in Ridgewood, N.J.
He was the son of the late HL Shimpfky and the late Thelma Brazelton Shimpfky of Broomfield, CO.
After graduating from Virginia Episcopal Theologiacal Seminary, he responded to his calling as creative preacher and liturgist, an advocate and supporter of multicultural ministry. He served as rector of All Saints-Sharon Chapel in Alexandria, VA., and Christ Church in Ridgewood, N.J.
In 1990, he was consecrated Bishop of the California Diocese of El Camino Real, where he served for 14 years.
In 1997, he was a nominee for the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church.
Upon retirement he returned to parish ministry, serving as interim rector of St. George's Church in Flushing, N.Y., and Short Hills, NJ.
He was a faithful servant, loving father and grandfather, a mentor and a friend to many.
Survivors include his immediate family in Ridgewood, NJ., sister, Laurel Shimpfky Marcucci of Broomfield, and brother Joe Shimpfky of Sacramento, CA.
A memorial service was March 12 at Christ Church in Ridgewood, NJ.

As Bishop, Mr. Shimpfky reached out to Latinos and other ethnic minorities in the El Camino Real Diocese, which stretches along the California coast from San Luis Obispo to the Silicon Valley.
Retiring to New York City and then to Ridgewood, Mr. Shimpfky was bishop-in-residence at St. George's Church in Flushing, Queens, and Christ Church in Short Hills.
Episcopal News Service] The Rt. Rev. Richard Lester Shimpfky was remembered March 1 as an ardent supporter of Episcopal Asiamerican and Latino ministries, and for his spiritual leadership and humility.

Shimpfky, 70, served as the second bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real from 1990 to 2004, and most recently was bishop-in-residence at Christ Episcopal Church in Short Hills in the Diocese of Newark. He died Feb. 28 with his wife of 45 years, Jamel Kassim Shimpfky, and other family members gathered around him, according to an email from the Newark diocese.

"The people of Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real give thanks to God for the life and work of Bishop Shimpfky as their second bishop. While we are saddened by his death, we rejoice that he is now at peace," Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves said in a statement emailed to ENS. "We will honor Richard's life with a memorial service at Trinity Cathedral in San Jose at a later date.

"Several members of the diocese will attend his services in Ridgewood, New Jersey," Gray-Reeves added.

"As a former Asian missioner of the Diocese of El Camino Real, I will miss Richard as a bishop, a pastor and a personal friend," said the Rev. Winfred Vergara, missioner for Episcopal Asiamerica ministries for the Episcopal Church.

"It was during his episcopacy that the diocesan ethnic ministries flourished," Vergara said in a March 1 email to Episcopal News Service. "We traveled together in China and shared many joys and challenges in the ministry," Vergara wrote. "When he retired as diocesan bishop and humbly served as interim rector of St. George Episcopal Church in Flushing, NY, he became a well-loved spiritual leader of its Chinese congregation, one of the largest Asian congregations in the Episcopal Church. Bishop Shimpfky is a devoted supporter of the Episcopal Asiamerica Ministry; his constant encouragement, humble example and wise counsel will be greatly missed."

The Rev. Dr. Paul Xie, St. George's Chinese missioner, agreed. "Since Bishop Shimpfky came here in February 2005, the Chinese congregation has been growing, and also the Latino congregation," he said in a telephone interview from his Flushing, NY, office. Shimpfky left the parish in Nov. 2010, Xie said.

Shimpfky was born Oct. 18, 1940 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to Thelma Louise and Henry Lester Shimpfky. He graduated in 1963 with a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado. He was awarded both master of divinity (1970) and doctor of divinity (1991) degrees from the Virginia Theological Seminary.

He was ordained a deacon on June 20, 1970 and a priest June 1, 1971 by Philip Alan Smith, bishop suffragan of Virginia, and served several congregations in Virginia and New Jersey prior to his 1990 consecration as Bishop of El Camino Real.

He was assistant rector at St. Peter's, Arlington (1970-1972,) and rector of All Saints, Alexandria from 1972 to 1977 before moving to Christ Church in Ridgewood, where he served 15 years as rector.

He was also active on diocesan and provincial levels, serving as Province VIII president from 1994 to 2004 and as vice president from 1992 to 1994.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Allison, Joshua and Trevor, and two grandchildren.

Family Members

  • Created by: Laurel Shimpfky Marcucci
  • Added: 5 Mar 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 66530182
  • David Eastburn
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Lester Shimpfky (18 Oct 1940–28 Feb 2011), Find A Grave Memorial no. 66530182, citing Christ Church Burial Garth, Ridgewood, Bergen County, New Jersey, USA ; Maintained by Laurel Shimpfky Marcucci (contributor 46593891) .