WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield’s Chang Lee, who died just a few days shy of his 95th birthday, had started a children’s Chinese language program and cultural awareness group in New Jersey.

Nicholas J. Gismondi, 65, was an active member of St. Helen’s Parish and the President of Westfield Little League baseball for years, where he also served as a coach.

William Glen Gandy was a highly decorated Marine having served in Vietnam and earning three Purple Hearts before moving to Westfield in 1985 and raising children with his wife, Susan.

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These are three among Westfield’s 49 COVID-19 victims, who were honored during a virtual service held at Mindowaskin Park in Westfield and streamed for the public Tuesday night.

“With every life lost there are heartbroken family members, friends, colleagues and communities devastated by loss exacerbated by the inability together and mourn and grieve,” said Mayor Shelley Brindle.

The town had organized the service to coincide with a national remembrance for which churches rang bells and communities illuminated buildings at 5:30 p.m.

Information volunteered by family members of 10 of the victims was posted here on the town website in advance of the service, which also included remarks from local religious leaders.

“We cannot be together, but we can be joined in our memories of loved ones and friends lost,” said Rev. Joy Mounts, associate minister of the First Congregational Church in a release announcing the service. “We can share stories and keep their light burning in our hearts.”

Watch a replay of the service below:

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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