Tag Archives: Fair Haven Fire Department

Retro FH Fire Company Family Time

A gathering of Fair Haven Fire Department folks of the past.
Photo/FHFD Yearbook, courtesy of Evie Connor Kelly

In the wake of a Fair Haven Fire Department award and reflection on the bond among its members through generations, thoughts turn to times when the bonds were forged.

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Retro Old Timers’ Day Tripping

Nothing says community spirit like a face full of dirt and smashed eggs on your Sunday casual best. Well, nothing like Fair Haven Fire Department’s (FHFD) Old Timers’ Day, anyway. Add to that the fact that the young ones from back in the day are now the old timers and the losers … of the traditional baseball game that is the day’s focal point.

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A Toast of Remembrance: Fair Haven’s Joe T.

Everything’s gonna be alright
Everything’s gonna be alright
Nobody’s gotta worry ’bout nothing
Don’t go hitting that panic button
It ain’t near as bad as you think
Everything’s gonna be alright
Alright, alright

Kenny Chesney ~ Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

They called him Joe T. He never hit the panic button. And he was more than alright … with a smile, a nod, a laugh and a reassuring pat on the back.

He was a loving husband. He was a devoted dad. He was a dedicated volunteer. He was a calming presence. He was a jokester. He was a beacon of hope, inspiration, fun and laughter. He was a loyal friend. He was just plain, no-nonsesense full of life. And, last year, he lost his life. But, longtime Fair Havenite and Fire Department/First Aid Squad guy Joe Truex lives on in the memories he made with purpose. He was toasted by loved ones in a “never forget” tribute party on Friday night, the one-year anniversary of his death, organized by his wife, Ethel Hodgkiss Truex.

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Scene Around: A ‘Clerks’ Clerk and a FHFD First Aid Captain

Actor/producer Brian O’Halloran and Dan Kane
Photo/FHFD

Saturday was a traditional night for the stars of the Fair Haven Fire Department Auxiliary to shine with its annual dinner.

And from all accounts, all stars shone brightly. In fact, there was a little bit of all-star mingling across community and career arenas going on during the event.

Fire Department fireman and first aid squad captain, Dan Kane, rubbed elbows and, more aptly, chatted and shook hands with actor/producer Brian O’Halloran, a Middletown guy who is known for his roles in the Kevin Smith movies Clerks, Mallrats, Dogma, Chasing Amy, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Clerks II.

Clerks came out in 1994 and was shot in a convenience store in Middletown. Do you remember which store and what section of Middletown? And, in Clerks, there is a scene in which a copy of a newspaper is seen. Do you know which weekly newspaper that was?

The story about Clerks being filmed, before it met with major success at the Sundance Film Festival, was told in that same newspaper that appears in the movie. Smith, himself, worked in the store.

The budget for Clerks was less than $30,000. Once released, it brought in more than $3 million. O’Halloran’s character always had he same last name in all the Smith movies. Do you know what that was?

As for Dan Kane, do you know how many years he has been with the fire company? In capacity as a line officer has he served over the years?

And, as for the true stars of the night on Saturday, the ladies of the FHFD Auxiliary, do you know how long they’ve been hosting this dinner? Favorite food served? What did O’Halloran eat?

Talk about a star-studded night …

Thanks to Dan Kane and the FHFD for the photos!

The FHFD Auxiliary Ladies serving up some dinner
Photo/FHFD

Retro Doc at FHFD Installation

Dr. John Movelle and wife Betty circa 2001 Photo/Kathy Robbins
Dr. John Movelle and wife Betty circa 2001
Photo/Kathy Robbins

Fair Haven Fire Department’s longstanding traditional Installation Dinner was on Saturday.

Besides the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, it’s the fire company’s social event of the year blanketed in official business and fun.

It’s a time to thank the outgoing line officers and welcome the incoming, dance, eat and offer a few cheers for the coming year.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day, contributed by Kathy Robbins (and originally published in 2016), offers a look back at a popular Fair Haven doctor and his wife at the dinner.

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Memorial Set for Fair Haven Fire Department 30-Year Member, Chris Bertell, 88

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.


Retro Visit from Santa

Santa comes to the Connor home in Fair Haven circa 1960s
Photo/Connor family

Santa has begun making the rounds lately. He’s been seen in Red Bank and is slated to arrive via a time-honored gala entrance festooned with tree lighting festivities in Rumson, Fair Haven and Sea Bright soon. It’s that time of the year.

But, what you may not realize is that the Santa of the streets where Rumson-Fair Haven area folks live has always been known to make many house calls. It’s pretty common knowledge that Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick has been known to not only hitch a ride on the Fair Haven fire truck to make a grand entrance at the annual tree lighting or appear at the firehouse for those classic photos with the kids, but he has also been sighted on the firetruck, sirens blaring, stopping off at some kids’ houses, gifts and ho, hoooooliday greetings in tow.

That little tradition started way back when with a few visits to good little girls and boys about town. House calls.

In fact, in our featured Retro Pic of the Day photo from the 1980s, Santa popped in on a couple grandchildren of the longtime Fair Haven Connor family. These little ones are now in their 30s.

Which Connors were sleighed by Santa in this shot? And how about that Santa? Know him? There’s one longtime Fair Haven Fire Department Ladies’ Auxiliary member who says this is her favorite Santa? Why?  Hmmmm …

Thanks to the Connor family for sharing this gem! 

Memorial Set for Former Fair Havenite Joe Truex, 54

The community is in mourning. The marquee and memorial buntings draped on the Fair Haven Firehouse mark the passing of one of its own … one who served a community he loved.

Memorial services are set to begin on Tuesday for former Fair Havenite, Rumsonite and avid community emergency services volunteer Joseph B. Truex Sr.,54, who passed away on June 6. He was living in Little Silver at the time of his passing.

A life celebration is set for 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday at John E. Day Funeral Home, 85 Riverside Avenue, Red Bank. It will be followed by a mass of christian burial on Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Red Bank. Interment will be private.

From Joe’s obituary … 

Joe Truex

Born in Oceanport to Raymond and Rita, Joe was well-known as a civically-minded man who constantly gave back to his community. He served in the Fair Haven Fire Department for 16 years and was a three-time captain of its First Aid Squad.

Before that, Joe had served as captain of the Rumson EMS. He was also a more than 20 year member of the Middletown Auxiliary Police Department.

Joe is predeceased by: his father, Raymond; and his brothers Michael and Thomas.

He is survived by: his beloved wife Ethel; his mother, Rita; his loving sons, Raymond, Joseph Jr., Brian, Benjamin, David Ruthenbeck Jr. and Kevin Ruthenbeck; his dear grandchildren, Tyler and Skylar; and his siblings, Philip, Jake, Kate Portee and Patricia White.

A tribute to Joe will follow after his funeral. RIP, Joe. You are remembered.

Scene Around: The Fair Haven Fire Department Memorial Flag Story

You’ve seen them. Those little red and white flags. As Memorial Day approaches, the little memorial flags from fire companies pop up on  lawns or any other fitting places to remember members who served and passed.

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