Las Vegas Sun

November 16, 2018

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Episcopal bishop Zabriskie dies

The Right Rev. Stewart Zabriskie would enter a room full of people and greet them by their first names, even those he had met just briefly on a prior occasion.

"He built a family in the diocese and could remember the names of everyone he had met -- even the names of the little children," said Sister Julian Hope, an Anglican nun at the Wellsprings Retreat House in Boulder City.

"He knew people as the individuals that they were. That's something rare today."

Stewart Clark Zabriskie, bishop of the Nevada diocese of the Episcopal Church and a proponent of the "total ministry" philosophy that encourages parishioners to take more active roles in the church, has died. He was 62.

Zabriskie died suddenly of heart failure Monday in Reno, where he had been attending a diocese council meeting over the weekend.

Services for the Las Vegas resident of 13 years will be noon next Thursday at Christ Church Episcopal, 2000 S. Maryland Parkway. A day earlier, a memorial service will be held at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Reno.

"My father believed that normal every day people should do the work of the church. He was not interested in a hierarchical system," Michael Zabriskie, a college administrator in Albion, Mich., said. "Both as a priest and later as a bishop he supported the total ministry concept."

That was perhaps the main reason why Zabriskie was asked in 1986 to take over the reins of the outgoing bishop, Wesley Frensdorrf, who also had been a proponent of total ministry, Anglican nun Sister Philippa Margaret, also of Wellsprings, said.

"He was a very good friend who worked very closely with us as a member of our board of trustees," she said. "And he carried on the work of Bishop Frensdorrf. He (Zabriskie) was faithful, he was a good listener and he was a wise man who cared for everybody."

Born Nov. 7, 1937, in White Plains, N.Y., Zabriskie was the youngest of three children of Cornelius Zabriskie and the former Florence Caffrey.

He graduated from Mount Herman Prep School in New York and went to Yale University, from which he graduated in 1958.

Zabriskie graduated from General Theological Seminary in New York and became an ordained minister in 1963.

Zabriskie served as a priest at the Church of the Incarnation in New York City in the 1960s and later served as rector at two Minnesota churches, including the Church of Epiphany in New Hope from the mid-1970s until he accepted the bishop post in Las Vegas.

In addition to his son, Zabriskie is survived by his wife, Sarah Miller of Las Vegas; a daughter Joanna Milne of Ann Arbor, Mich.; a brother, Neil Zabriskie of Ashville, N.C.; a sister, Tink Henderson of Glastonbury, Conn.; and two grandchildren.