You didn’t have to know lifetime Rumson and Fair Havenite Chris Bertell for him to have touched your life and put a smile on your face, if only for a moment, especially at holiday time. That’s because he was the guy who, year after year, set a festive, antique Santa-driven Ford Model T on his River Road lawn. It was a traffic stopper. It was also a heart warmer.
And when people think back on holiday time in Fair Haven, most remember that guy, Chris Bertell, who set out to spread a little joy with a car, some lights and good ol’ Saint Nick. They also remember him as the guy in town who loved antique cars and dalmatians and shared that love with many.
Bertell also saw many through emergencies as a 30-year life member of the Fair Haven Fire Department many-time president and ex-captain of the department’s Fire Police. He was also that go-to guy in the community for electrical repairs with his longtime business, Chris’ Electric.
Bertell, also a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and member of the Masons, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Riverview Medical Center. He was 88.
A memorial is set for Bertell from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec.22. There will be a fire company service at 11. And The avid volunteer and lover of antique cars and dalmatians
Chris is survived by: his wife of 60 years Frieda “Ruth” (Dudley); and his cousin, Vincent Domidion, of Morganville.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in Chris’ name to the ASPCA, 260 Wall Street, PO Box 93, Eatontown, NJ 07724.
RIP, Chris Bertell. You are remembered.