“How’d ya get to be so beautiful?“ he’d ask every little kid who walked into Stecher’s country store. Al’s main job was interacting with the customers. If he asked how you were doing it wasn’t small talk: he sincerely wanted to know. When you needed a little strength he’d give you some of his, usually transferred through a reassuring rub on your shoulders. Al’s ear was powerful; he’d intently listen to your problems. In the end he might tell you he didn’t know the answer, but he loved you. Friends and co-workers knew he was loyal to a fault; he’d drop whatever he was doing to lend a hand. He spent a brief 67 years in the fields. He’d take his kids along with him to see the crop’s progress. Grandkids also worked along side him; the older kids packed and the younger ones attached the “Sweet and Juicy” stickers. Lots of area boys learned their work ethic on the Stecher farm. Al gave back to Woolwich Twp.; he was a building inspector, special officer, served on Council, was Mayor for 14 years and chaired the planning board. Earlier years found him enlisting in the Navy; he served everywhere from the Arctic to Europe to South America.
Though Al claimed he was born married the truth is he met the young Barbara Schulze on a blind date in May 1957. They’d marry that December and be blessed by 4 children, Barbara Ollek (Kenneth), Patricia Reese (Daniel), Albert Mark (Vicki) and Matthew C (Amber); 22 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He was the brother of the late Margaret Donaghy, David, Shirly Garozzo and Sharon Dupper and the son-in-law of Carl Schulze. He was the son of Albert C. Stecher Sr. and Margaret Stecher.
Come celebrate 80 great years Friday 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday 10 to 11 a.m. at Church Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1194 Kings Highway, Pilesgrove where there will be a service at 11. Interment Eglington Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations to National MS Society, Aspen Corporate Park 1, 1480 U.S. Highway 9 North, Suite 301, Woodbridge NJ 07095 will be appreciated. Tell a great story about Al at lifecelebrationstudio.com.