LAKE COMO, NJ — Harvey Keyes was the face of the South Belmar Fire Aid Company for four decades. A call to the volunteer squad usually meant a visit from the lifelong borough resident, who served as its captain numerous times and tirelessly gave his time as an EMT into his 70s.

During the past several years, he valiantly fought his own health battle against cancer — until he succumbed to the disease on August 29 at age 76.

“Harvey Keyes life was the first aid squad,” said Lake Como Council President Doug Witte during this week’s council meeting at borough hall, where a purple and black bunting drapes its front entrance in honor of Keyes.

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While Keyes was most notable known for his years as a volunteer first-responder, he also was an avid fisherman who gained a following for refurbishing old fishing poles that he gives to youngsters, complete with tackle boxes. “It’s to keep them out of trouble,” quipped an upbeat Keyes in a February 2018 article in TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como. In that story, he and his longtime companion Melinda Wendelsted offered an update of his treatment progress in battling advanced liver and colon cancer.

To read his entire obituary and post a tribute, visit the O’Brien Funeral Home’s website by clicking here.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to help defray funeral costs. They can be mailed to Melinda Wendelstedt, 717 18th Avenue, Lake Como, NJ.

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is the official electronic newspaper of both municipalities. As a locally owned news organization, TAPinto through its advertisers is able to publish online, objective news 24/7 at no charge. Sign up for its free daily e-News, and follow it on Facebook and Twitter.

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