Hermann Alstede, Jr.

Obituary of Hermann Schulte Alstede, Jr.

HERMANN "ZEKE" S. ALSTEDE, JR. The Alstede Family regrets to announce the passing of Hermann "Zeke" Schulte Alstede, Jr. of Chester, New Jersey on Monday April 13, 2020 just short of his 80th birthday. The only child of German and Czech immigrant parents, Hermann was born on May 4, 1940 to Hermann Schulte Alstede, Sr. and Anne (Durkovic) Alstede and was raised in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. His parents owned a small business named Hermann's Service which was a Sunoco gas station located in Clifton, New Jersey. Young Hermann learned at an early age how to work hard in the family business and he also acquired his love of working with his hands on machines and automobiles. This love for mechanics led to a technical education at Don Bosco Technical High School in Paterson, New Jersey where Hermann, now known as "Zeke" to his friends, learned his trade which led to his certification as a Master Mechanic. Zeke's parents knew first hand the greatness and promise that America afforded immigrants to this nation and they shared their love for this country with their son. The patriotism that was instilled in Zeke led him to join the United States Marine Corps at the age of 17 after just finishing high school. Joining him in the Marines was Zeke's life long friend Nick Ciampo, the son of Italian immigrants who grew up in the adjoining back yard in Fairlawn. Nick had also attended Don Bosco for auto mechanics and Nick and Zeke remained best friends until Hermann's passing. In the Marines Zeke quickly proved himself and his leadership skills to his superiors which led to promotions through the rank of Sergeant. Zeke returned to New Jersey and the family business in 1958; but continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserve through 1965. Upon rejoining the family business after the Marines, Zeke and his father greatly expanded the business and renamed their gas station Hermann and Son Service Station, Inc. Zeke again demonstrated his leadership abilities and skills as the business grew from a single bay repair garage to a four bay repair station. Zeke was later joined by his three sons, Kurt, Eric, and Brett, who all worked at the service station in their youth. Hermann, Sr. continued to work with his son Zeke until his passing in 1982. Youngest son Brett worked with Zeke for over 10 years in the business while Kurt and Eric pursued other careers. Zeke sold the business in July of 2007 and then continued working with his family at Alstede Farms in Chester, NJ until his passing. Hermann and Son Service Station, Inc. existed for over 69 years and was one of the three oldest continuously owned Sunoco franchises in the United States. Zeke moved his young family to Chester in 1977 and loved calling Chester home. Zeke's passion for service led to his joining the Chester Volunteer Fire Co. #1 in 1983. Zeke was later joined in this service by his sons Kurt and Eric as well as his grandson Justin. Zeke quickly found himself at home in the midst of the men that he called "Old Chester" and they quickly connected with Zeke's amiable and easy going personality. Zeke's skills and leadership abilities again led him into several important roles in the Fire Co. including Truck Engineer, Chief Engineer, and Parade Drill Master. Most notably, however, were the 17 years that he spent as the Fire Company Treasurer. Zeke became a life member of the New Jersey State Firemen's Relief Association as well as a Life Member in the Chester Volunteer Fire Company #1 in recognition of his 37 years of service in the Company to the Chester community. Zeke was honored as the Fireman of the Year in 2009. Zeke loved life, loved living in Chester, loved his family, loved working hard, loved giving, loved the American dream, was a man of character and integrity, and valued friendship and fraternity. He will be missed by all. Hermann "Zeke" Schulte Alstede, Jr. is survived by his son Kurt W. Alstede and his wife Barbara of Chester, NJ; son Eric C. Alstede of Chester, NJ; son Brett T. Alstede and his wife Maria of Succasunna, NJ; and grandchildren Rebekah, Justin, Nicolette, Sarah, and Karl. A private graveside service was held at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Chester, NJ on April 16, 2020 where he was interred. A celebration of Hermann's life will be scheduled at a later date. Gifts in Hermann's memory can be kindly directed to the Chester Volunteer Fire Company #1; Post Office Box 506; Chester, New Jersey 07930. The Alstede Family graciously acknowledges the overwhelming love, support, and prayers that have been abundantly offered during this time of remembrance.
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