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Honoring Lester Gribetz: A Legacy of Dedication and Inspiration

At the heart of every organization are dedicated individuals whose passion shapes its direction. Among them was Lester Gribetz, a beloved God’s Love We Deliver Board member since 1992 and a retail legend. On June 5th, we gathered at the agency headquarters building to honor and celebrate Lester’s memory. Family, friends, colleagues, and admirers shared stories, laughter, and tears, painting a vivid portrait of his impactful life and enduring legacy.

The evening began with heartfelt remarks from CEO and President David Ludwigson, who spoke about Lester’s significant contributions to our growth and success. Board member Mike Moran shared his inspirational friendship with Lester that began in 1993 through their shared support and service at God’s Love We Deliver during the early, chaotic years of the AIDS crisis. Lester’s devoted husband, Andy Peters, spoke about Lester’s unwavering commitment to God’s Love, his family, friends, and his career.

Mike Moran and his husband Jeff Gates generously sponsored a delivery van in Lester’s memory, and Andy humorously noted that dedicating a van to Lester’s memory was fitting since Lester had no sense of direction.

Lester dedicated his time, energy, and resources to caring for God’s Love clients through fundraisers and corporate contributions. He made Thanksgiving possible during our years at West Park Presbyterian Church by securing a truck for roasting turkeys on the street, as our kitchen lacked the capacity. Staff member Pat Costello remembers, “Lester’s foresight and generosity made Thanksgiving not only possible but truly memorable.” Lester also helped secure funds for our move from the church basement to our second kitchen at the Youth Hostel on 103rd and Amsterdam.

As we reflect on Lester Gribetz’s life and legacy, we are reminded that his spirit lives on in our work and the lives we touch. His legacy will guide us, serving as a beacon of hope, inspiration, and resilience.