George Robert Kelder

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George Robert Kelder Sr., formerly of Freehold Borough, died at home on March 3.

Born on Feb. 11, 1934, in Freehold, he was a borough resident most of his life and moved to Howell in 2001.

George graduated from St. Rose of Lima Grammar School (now St. Rose of Lima School) in 1948 and from Freehold Borough High School in 1952. He entered the U.S. Navy at the Bainbridge, Maryland, Naval Training Center that summer and was honorably discharged in 1956, having served aboard the Destroyer Radar Picket Ship No. 714 U.S.S. William R. Rush during the Korean Conflict.

Upon his discharge, he played semi-professional football for several years with the Jersey Sharks, headquartered at Wall Stadium in Wall Township.

He was employed by the State of New Jersey, the Phelps Dodge Company, Trap Rock Industries, W.E. Timmerman Company and Freehold Borough until his retirement in 1994, where he served as senior engineering aid, senior purchasing assistant and administrative assistant to the borough administrator.

Mr. Kelder was a communicant of St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church, where he previously served as an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist and usher.

He was an ex-captain of the Freehold Borough Volunteer Fire Department Engine Co. No. 1, where he volunteered for 21 years. He was also the Engine Company No. 1 secretary-treasurer for 17 years. He was a member of the Freehold Exempt Association, a life member of the New Jersey State Exempt Firemen’s  Association, American Legion Post No. 54, Freehold, the U.S.S. William R. Rush Association and the Tin Can Sailors Association. He was the co-founder/director of the Courthouse Volunteers Fife and Drum Corp. and a member of the Company of Fifers and Drummers.

Mr. Kelder served on the Borough Council in Freehold Borough from 1995 to 2001. He was council president from 1998-99 and police commissioner from 1995 until 2001.

Mr. Kelder was a member of the Friends of the Freehold Borough Library and the Freehold Borough Housing Authority, serving as commissioner from 1995 to the present.

He is survived by his wife, the former Joan J. Fallat; his one son, George R. Kelder Jr. and his wife, Jennifer, of Manasquan; his two daughters, Michele and her husband, Clayton Forman, of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Lisa Susan and her husband, Donald Wagner, of Freehold Township; and seven grandchildren, Lauren, Christopher, R. Nevin, Jeffrey, Victoria, Benjamin and Patrick.

George’s family is grateful for the support received since last summer from family and friends and notably from the VNA and Bayada Hospice staff, in particular Joshua, Stacey, Natala, Jane and Robin. We thank them for their humor, extraordinary care, compassion and comfort.

Funeral arrangements were made by Freeman Funeral Home, 47 E. Main St., Freehold. A funeral liturgy was held in the chapel of St. Rose of Lima, Freehold. Interment followed on the family farm, Squirrel Town, Freehold Township.

Memorial contributions may be made to the New Jersey Funeral Service Education Corp., the Freehold Borough Fire Department or the Freehold First Aid.