A church pastor in Bohemia whose 10-foot fall while cleaning gutters proved fatal was remembered at a funeral service as a gentle man who exemplified faith and love.
"He was a very good man. We miss him. He taught us to trust in the Lord," his widow, Roseanne Ploegman, said by telephone on Tuesday.
Pastor Meint Ploegman, 66, fell to the ground at the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Bohemia on Nov. 15. His widow said he died two days later.
At a service livestreamed on Facebook last week, his son-in-law Matt Miller said Ploegman "lived out the gospel right in front of you every day … He taught as much about the gospel working with him than he did, maybe more so, than when he spoke to you from the pulpit."
Miller joined other speakers in thanking the community for all their care.
Saying Ploegman spoke with "absolute conviction," Miller added, "He never spoke to you as one who had arrived and was going to tell you how you could get there too, but he spoke to you as a co-sinner, who was speaking to himself as well."
His son-in-law quoted one of the pastor’s sayings to highlight the contrast between his selfless works — and those of other ministers who sometimes seem have something to gain. "You know, Matt," the pastor would say, when his son-in-law was thinking of a purchase, "that product only benefits the seller."
When Ploegman preached, Miller said, "The things he taught were never self-serving."
Ploegman's son, Jonathan, read the eulogy his sister Jennifer Ploegman had written, describing their father’s "gentle heart, calloused hands, and his unwavering dedication to his service to all those around him."
Ploegman also is survived by sons David and Benjamin Ploegman and daughter Christina Miller.