Effective 9 pm Saturday, March 21, 2020, New Jersey Governor, Phil Murphy, had mandated by executive order #107 that all New Jersey residents shall remain home or in their place of residence unless they are obtaining essential goods or services from businesses or government agencies. All gatherings of individuals, such as funeral services, parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled.
These restrictions will remain in effect until further notice from the state governor. Due to the current restrictions, there will not be a funeral service for Emma Lee Agostini.
The family is grateful, and would like to extend their sincere thanks, for all the support and condolences from friends and the community in their time of mourning.
Proverbs 31: 10-30
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Evangelist Emma Lee Agostini was born Emma Lee Frazier, in Wake County, Raleigh, North Carolina on June 30, 1940. She was the daughter of the late Dorothy Partin Frazier and James Frazier. Due to the early passing of their parents, Emma Lee and her younger brother, Jesse James Frazier, were taken in and raised by some of their aunts and uncles - the late Lydia and Samuel Hinton, the late Claudia and William Farrar, and the late Lucille and Elmer Hicks.
She spent her early childhood and early teenage years in Raleigh, where she resided near the great HBCU of Shaw University. Emma moved to New Jersey in her late teens and graduated from high school in Toms River, New Jersey. She worked as a homemaker and nurses’ aide for most of her working career.
Emma enjoyed singing, dancing, making people laugh, spending time with family, and telling the unadulterated truth, no matter what the cost. She had a deep love for Christ and a passion and love for all people.
She was a lifelong member of Christ Temple Church of the Living God, in Neptune, New Jersey. She spent most of her life advocating for Christ and bringing people to Christ. She believed that the way that you bring people to Christ was by simply being kind, compassionate, and real. She spent many weekends leading missions in prison ministry, volunteering in several local nursing homes, and going door to door doing local missionary work.
It was through all her work as a missionary that she was nicknamed “the cheerleader”. She had the gift of connecting with people and making them feel like they were family; often encouraging them in times of need and distress, cheering them up. She was dedicated to serving God by serving his people. She believed that all people were deserving of his love, and she dedicated every moment of her life spreading that love the best way she knew how.
Evangelist Agostini also spent her time fundraising heavily for her church’s youth department to fund bus trips for the young people to travel and congregate for different conferences. She was a true “hustler”. She could outsell anyone around her and talk you into spending anything on everything.
Emma was heavily supportive and involved within the Asbury Park School system. She loved young people and made it her mission to be a part of everything that she could that could support the students, teachers, and parents. She was known for coming into the classrooms and sitting in with her grandchildren and the other students, just so the teachers would have extra reinforcement in the class. Emma did this to make sure the children would behave mannerly, and in her own words, “like they had some sense”.
Evangelist Agostini spent her later years continuing the work of Christ and being a voice and shoulder for his people. She experienced many hardships and tragedies in her life, but trusted God no less. By her often stepping out on blind faith, she was able to overcome most of those adversities and show that God is still and will always be who he is, a way maker.
In the last chapter of her life, Evangelist Agostini battled dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. After a long battle with both illnesses she was placed in Anchor Care & Rehabilitation Center in Hazlet, NJ. It was there that she went to be with the Lord after succumbing to COVID-19 on May 11, 2020.
She was predeceased by her loving and devoted husband, Nelson Rodriguez Agostini; daughter, Kathy Y. Agostini; grandsons, Ryekill R, Agostini, and Rahju T. Love; dear son in law, Willie A Elam Jr.; favorite uncle, Joe; close cousin, Lydia Black; best friends, Bishop Cleveland L. Harvey, mother Margie Harvey, and Mother Jasper.
She leaves to cherish her memory four children, Edward D. Benson Jr., Anita L. Benson, Robert C. Brown Jr. (Angela), and Robin McGaskey (Steven), all of New Jersey; six grandchildren that she raised as her own children, Terrale T. Agostini, Rakim L. Love (La’Star), Emma Elam-Smith (Randall), Pamela R. Elam, Zatima D. Benson, and Rahju J. Benson, all of New Jersey; other grandchildren whom she loved, Robert Williams, Jazmin Brown, Tomasina Brown, Edward Benson III, Xavier Benson, and S’zemarr McGaskey; 10 great grandchildren; 2 great-great grandchildren; baby brother whom she adored, Jesse James Frazier (Caroline); and her beloved Godson, Shaun Hubbard.
She had a special place in her heart for spiritual children, Leonard Clark Sr., Jerome Hubbard Sr., and Billy Brown Sr.; spiritual sisters, Anna Blackwell, Mary Graham, Berniece Holland, Curtis Burnett, Deborah Wilson, Lois Kettles, Mary Moore, Delores Robinson, and Mary Dowdy; and special niece, Tanja Kimberly Brown.
An incredibly special thank you to her church family of Christ Temple Church of the Living God, the teachers, staff, and students of the Asbury Park School District, the Brown, and Moore families for loving Mrs. Emma the way they did. We would also love to thank the incredibly special nurses who not only cared for her, but treated her as their own, nurses Vicky, Ruth, and Fabiola, all of Anchor Care & Rehabilitation Center (unit 1 East).
She will be greatly missed, and her legacy will live on in all who encountered her. She was the epitome of a virtuous woman. May God bless all those people and allow them to see that Evangelist Agostini was who she was, because God was, who he is!
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