Reverend John David “Jack” Little

The Reverend John David “Jack” Little, age 85, of Warwick, MD, died peacefully at his home on Tuesday, July 20, 2021 surrounded by his loving family.

Jack was the son of the late George Emory Little and Mae Katherine (Bittle) Little, and grew up in Aspinwall, PA. His education included graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Gettysburg College, a Masters in Divinity from Chicago Lutheran Theological Seminary, and a Masters in Social Work from Washington University, all of which set the foundation for a lifetime of Ministry and Social Work that lasted over 60 years. Jack led congregations around the country, including Lutheran churches in Missouri, Illinois, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware. While in South Dakota, he directed a project for Lutheran Social Services and improved education and quality of life for Native American students on several reservations across the state. Jack then served as the Director of the Tressler Center (part of Tressler Lutheran Services) developing innovative programming to better serve individuals and the local community. He also worked for Northern Chesapeake Hospice and Visiting Nurses, providing comfort, support, pastoral guidance and healing for grieving families. Jack is fondly remembered by families across the tri-state area for his unique Christmas Eve services held in a barn which included: live animals, festive music, amusing sermons, and roles for all of the children who wanted to participate. He truly embodied his commitment to be of service to others throughout his entire life

Jack was always active in his home and community. Singing with the Delaware Saengerbund, the Cecil County Choral Society, the Mary Green Singers, and a Barber Shop Quartet truly enlivened him. Jack loved traveling, and particularly loved historic trains. He avidly photographed his adventures, and even learned to use an iPhone just so he could share his pictures! He also enjoyed playing bridge, and was a member of two different bridge clubs. His love of plants led to becoming a master gardener, and his property remains full of blooming flowers, large shade trees, quiet pathways, and his nemesis, The Beaver. Jack’s passion for the Steelers and the Pirates always made for lively enjoyment of sporting events!

Jack was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Marilyn Katherine (Hamilton) Little, who was a lifelong teacher, education advocate, and shared Jack’s love of cats. He is survived by his brother, Dr. George Robert Little of Mechanicsburg PA; and his children, David Michael Little & Sally Moscatiello of Columbia MD, and Mark Hamilton Little of Durango CO. Jack doted on his grandchildren, Zachary Hamilton Little & Dr. Rita Chen of Silver Spring, MD, and Cristiana Nicole Little & Carlos Amaya of Wheaton, MD. Jack was blessed in recent years with a beloved companion, Brenda Hagelstein of Middletown, DE. He was embraced by her family, Walter III & Andrea Hagelstein, Jeanine & Geoffrey Heath, Adrienne & Andrew Shearer, Geoffrey & Sarah Heath, Abigail & Elizabeth Storm, Aubrey Shearer and Benjamin Shearer. Jack is also survived by his loyal, lovable, four-legged children, Jake, Richard, and Mooey.

A funeral service for family and friends honoring the Reverend John D. Little will be held at 1 pm on Saturday, August 7, 2021 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 701 S College Avenue, Newark, DE. Face coverings will be required for all those in attendance not immunized with the COVID-19 vaccine per the CDC and Governor of Delaware.

Any family members or friends who are unable to attend Jack’s service can live stream the service by clicking here.

Jack devoted his life to service in so many ways. In his memory, contributions can be made to your choice of charitable service organizations to continue Jack’s passionate legacy of service to others.


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29 Condolences for Reverend John David “Jack” Little

  • I will remember Jack’s sense of humor and his love of a really hard crossword puzzle.

  • I’m deeply sorry for you and your family’s loss.

  • The Lord’s blessing of comfort, peace, healing through love be experienced by all the family.

  • I’ll remember Pastor Jack always. My condolences to his family and parishioners.

  • Very sorry to hear of Jack’s passing. We sat together in the bass section of the Osher Chorus for several years and had many interesting conversations. He really helped me stay in tune! On a recent trip to the Holy Land, he brought back a rosary from Bethlehem for me. My condolences to the entire family.

  • Jack will be sadly missed at the MOT bridge club.

  • Jack was our neighbor for several years and a true friend when we needed one. He was a fine man.
    Our love to his family.

  • Mark and family, I am sending loving, prayerful thoughts and energy to you during this time. May your memories sustain you. May you also witness the miracles of the unseen angels to remind you that Jack still is with you

  • Jack was a gracious and wonderful man. You were blessed to have him in all your lives. I met Jack and Marilyn through out bridge group. He loved the game. He will be missed. Cheryl Shields

  • Dear David, Mark, Sally, Zachary, Christina and Brenda,
    We are deeply saddened at the news of Jack’s passing. He was our precious and dear friend over many years. He was also so much more. Memories abound as we look back over the “Tressler Years” and those that have followed. We look forward to being with you August 7th to send him off on his adventure into the mystery of eternity. Janice and Cliff

  • I need to tell you how wonderful Jack was to my husband, Matt, and myself while I was going through cancer treatments. He would bring us communion after Sunday service and pray with us. A selfless man❣️We thank God for Jack’s faithful service. Thanks for sharing.

  • What a privilege to know this gentle man, to learn from him in Bible studies and to count him a dear friend. Peace and comfort for all who grieve his death.

  • Jack will be greatly missed by us and by all of the members of the Delaware Saengerbund Chorus.

    Keith and Vicky Farmer

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Your father was such a beautiful and gentle soul.

  • R.I.P. Reverend Jack Little, a beautiful life in the service for others. Truly inspirational. Sending light, love and peace to the Little family and friends. ❤️🙏🏻

  • RIP Jack
    You will be missed by ALL!
    Our thoughts and prayers are with your family 🙏
    The Schock’s

  • Pastor Jack is one of God’s special people and the love of Jesus shone through him. He was kind, gentle and accepting of all people. He always made me, a gay man, feel welcome and blessed. I know God welcomed him into heaven with a big smile and open arms.

  • To Jack’s family and dear friends, We share your loss. Jack sang with the Osher Lifelong Learning Chorus in Wilmington for a several semesters. What a joy it was to have him in our bass section. His warm personality and singing experiences added much to our chorus of about 60 musicians. I feel sure that he will take his rightful place in God’s heavenly choir of angels and can sing for eternity! Blessings to all who loved him, for his life touched so many!

  • Jack’s life was God’s gift to so many. He was a “good and faithful servant” in so many ways. His unique personality, humor, and intelligence will be missed by many. He analyzed life with deep understanding helping many who came to him for comfort to find a way through troubles. Thank you Jack. You are a good friend.

  • First Marilyn and then Jack. They were a lovely couple and I enjoyed having them both in The Mary Green Singers. They gave generously of their time, talents and treasure enriching our ensemble and those for whom we performed. I shall miss them both. Mary Green

  • Jack touched many hearts including mine. We sang together at many events home and abroad with the Mary Green Singers. Sincere sympathy to those closest to Jack.

  • Classmate at Gettysburg (1957) and Maywood (1961)…Many fond memories of long hours together…ushered at my wedding, 1958…Patiently travelled with me, spouse, and infant Christopher Ewing on a road trip to Kansas and back to Maywood… Another Maywood classmate, Jerome Nilssen and I are planning 60th Reunion, will remember Jack then… Hope to join August 7 Service from my home in rural Custer County, Colorado…Prayers, Blessings to family +

  • It was an honor to know this man. His love of the Lord was evident in all he did. Go in peace Jack. You served the Lord!

  • So very sorry for your loss Pastor Little was so very special kind understanding man he helped and minister to The Gesner family when we needed him ,he will be missed and we know he in with our Father in haven now may he Rest In Peace Ginny Gesner and family

  • Mom adored him. He baptized my grandson when he was a teenager. He brought Swanie to the hospital to see mom before she passed. I loved to hear him sing. He truly was a wonderful man.

  • Our prayers are with you at this difficult time. Please accept our sincere condolences.

  • Offering our deepest condolences to the family on the loss of Jack. Wishing you all comfort and peace.
    With sympathy,
    The Aylaian Family

  • Pastor Little was a GREAT man. He was Pastor at Bethel Lutheran Church in North East where my Mom ( Peggy Strimel) served in the Choir. Pastor Little had a wonderful voice and he was a very wise man. I always enjoyed his children service with the beloved Swaney puppet. He really made it fun for the children. He will be missed!

  • I had the pleasure of getting to know Jack as well as join him in song through The Cecil County Choral Society. He was a very patient and affable person plus a very talented singer which is born out by his lifetime accomplishments and the many tributes written here. In that small world way of things, Jack’s late wife taught with and was friends with my Mother-In-Law Barbara Finnan and his home in Warwick has been a favorite of mine for decades. I will surely remember Jack fondly for the rest of my days. Blessings and condolences to all who knew him.