In Newton, longtime liturgical musician retires


By Celine Klosterman

Tom Netzel retired Memorial Day weekend after 48 years of playing organ and piano and directing the choir for Sacred Heart Parish in Newton.

NEWTON — After praising the Lord through song at nearly every Mass at Sacred Heart Parish for 48 years, musician and choir director Tom Netzel has closed the accompanist’s hymnal for the last time.
On May 26, Netzel offered his final organ accompaniment to a parish liturgy. The Mass wrapped up a music ministry that took him to almost all of Sacred Heart’s celebrations of first Communion and confirmation, plus hundreds of weddings and funerals, for decades.
“I don’t know how we’re going to exist without him,” Hazel Gertsma said of the choir she’s belonged to for 40 years. “He’s been a good friend to all of us.”

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