NORTHFIELD - There are things that cannot be explained, the Rev. Bill Warner said at Joyce Vanderhoff’s funeral Wednesday night, but that doesn’t mean that Jesus is absent.

“Jesus never promised a rose garden form of life,” Warner said. “He did promise ‘I am always with you.’”

Warner spoke to several hundred friends, family members and others at Adams-Perfect Funeral Home in Northfield, days after a passing motorist found Vanderhoff, 25, dead on the side of Weymouth Road in Hamilton Township.

Latest Video

Wednesday came with no further news from authorities, and acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said his office has not established a cause of death.

Several hundred people attended the memorial before the funeral, greeting the family and each other, viewing a video photo collage and signing a memorial book.

Warner spoke near a small table that held a half-dozen floral bouquets, a framed photo of Vanderhoff and a small black box, the size of a bread loaf, that held her cremated remains.

To a standing-room-only crowd, Warner talked of the “devastating experience” of Vanderhoff’s death. He had known the Egg Harbor Township woman since she was a child.

“Some things,” he said, “are never explained.”

Condolences may be left for the family at

Staff Writer Lynda Cohen contributed to this report.

Contact Derek Harper: 609-272-7046

@dnharper on Twitter

Senior copy editor for the Press of Atlantic City. Have worked as a reporter, copy editor and news editor with the paper since 1985. A graduate of the University of Delaware.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.