My friend Steve Kalafer passed away on Wednesday morning. He was a giant in New Jersey and his passing leaves a huge hole in our community. Steve was a proud family man, entrepreneur and patriot. He loved life and people and had the courage of his convictions. He lived without fear even in the face of his battle with cancer.

One of the things you knew right away every time you visited one of his showrooms at Flemington Car and Truck Country or took in a game to watch the Somerset Patriots, it was clear that Steve was a respected and admired leader. The smiles on the faces of employees proud to represent the company and interact and make guests feel welcome said it all. With so many people complaining about their jobs in our society, it was so refreshing to meet people who loved their job because of the man who gave them the opportunity.

Steve was a huge backer of the men and women who serve in law enforcement and a friend to all first responders.

Steve was a man of courage not seen too often these days. He immediately went into action when the Philadelphia Flyers disparaged the memory of Kate Smith after panicking in the face of the PC mob. Smith was in fact a champion of civil rights and equality and Steve did not hesitate to defend the Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient.

Steve was constantly using his wealth to help various charities and cause all to help people improve their lives. He was one of the good guys. As my wife said about him, "truly one of the nicest and sincere people we know." Steve was a friend, mentor and inspiration. He never backed down from a challenge and fought hard to help his community, family and country.

Rest in peace my friend, we'll take it from here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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