John H. Stephan, Sr.

1924 - 2015

HARTWICK - John H. Stephan, Sr., a retired New Jersey  Firefighter, passed away at his home in Hartwick Monday night, April 20, 2015. He was 90.

Born December 31, 1924, in Rahway, NJ, John was a son of Thomas and Jean Stephan.  

As a young man, he enlisted in the United States Army, and proudly served his country with Battery A 288th Field Artillery Battalion during World War II. During that time he was part of General George S. Patton's Army in the Ardennes Offensive ("The Battle of the Bulge"). A sharpshooter, he was sent to various places to compete, and often won competitions with various pistol teams.

After the war, John returned to his native Rahway, and served as a paid professional firefighter for 31 years with the Rahway Fire Department.

He liked to fish, hunt and sharp shoot. He also loved to ice skate and  in his youth won second place in the silver skates at Madison Square Garden. 

After retiring from his career in firefighting, John worked part time at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.

John is survived by his wife, Ethel Galland-Stephan, of Hartwick, whom he married in 1989; one son, John H. Stephan, Jr. and his wife, Lorraine, of Rahway, NJ; two daughters, Joanne Kreisberg and her husband, Irwin, of Rahway, NJ, and Carol Reisner and her husband, Joseph, of Palm City, FL; five grandchildren, Ashlee Theissen and her husband, Brad, John Stephan, grandson-in-law Robert Fleischmann, Robert Kreisberg and his wife, Stephanie, Scott Reiser and Colleen Reiser; and five great grandchildren, Nash Theissen, Bryanna and Tyler Fleischmann, and Dillon and Jake Kreisberg.

He is further survived by a step-daughter, Kathleen Galland Bennett and her husband, Raymond R. Bennett, Jr., and their son, Ryon Bennett; and two brothers-in-law, Rudy Svantner and Tom Svantner and his wife, Mary. 

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Marie, who died in 1984; one granddaughter, Noreen Fleischmann; and a step-daughter, Cynthia ("Cyndi") Ann Galland, who died in 2005.

In New York State, family and friends are invited to pay their respects at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2015. A Prayer Service will be offered at 6:30 p.m. in the funeral home with Rev. David Wm. Mickiewicz, pastor of St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church in Oneonta, officiating.

In New Jersey, a visitation will be held at the Corey-Ragan Funeral Home, 259 Elm Avenue, Rahway, NJ, from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m. on Sunday, April 26, 2015. 

Funeral Services will begin at 8:45 a.m. on Monday, April 27, 2015, from the Corey-Ragan Funeral Home in Rahway, NJ, thence to St. John Vianney Roman Catholic Church in Colonia, NJ. for a 9:30 a.m. Liturgy of Christian Burial.  

The Service of Committal and Burial with Military Honors will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery in Clark, NJ. 

Expressions of sympathy in the form of memorial gifts may be made to the Hartwick Fire Department Company No. 1, P.O. Box 86, Hartwick, NY 13348.

Local arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.