For the last forty years, whenever you went to the Freehold Music Center you were greeted by Dave Hershey. A warm, friendly, long-haired guy who would hook you up as well as give you some great conversation, often with a hug. Dave Hershey was tragically burned on Saturday, April 25 and passed away on Monday, April 27.

Dave's Facebook page has exploded with love from the many he has touched throughout the years. Dave was there for me when I had my mobile DJ business, my comedy business and when my boys were taking up guitar, it was Dave who set them up with their first ones.

It wasn't just about business with Dave, he was a friend. I remember one night we went out to dinner with T.C Tolliver of the Plasmatics and our significant others. It was Dave who also introduced me to Grammy winning recording engineer Dennis Ferrante and Beatles artist Shannon MacDonald, who's photos hang in my rec room. Dave was a kind, generous soul who would do anything for anyone. He helped churches, schools, and hundreds of aspiring musicians over the years.

"Dave is remembered by his children as a great Dad," his daughter Kristina told me, "who always made up games to play, loved Harry Potter, and was never happier than when he was in Disney! Dad was incredibly proud of both of his children, (son James, who both entered nursing) and never failed to remind us of that."

In more recent years, Dave found a partner to share his life with. Dave and Jill shared a love of music and a beautiful home. Jill was with him at the end:

"Dave and I had been together for about 12 years," she told me. "I first met Dave when I started buying my gear at FMC [Freehold Music Center] years ago. It wasn't until I started working at FMC in 2007 that we became friends. He asked me if I would like to do some recording on his album that he was working on at the time with Dennis Ferante. Our friendship grew into a love I have never known. Complete soulmates."

So many times when you hear about a friend passing, you wish you got to tell them how you feel. Fortunately, as I celebrated 8 years at New Jersey 101.5 on my Facebook page, I got to tell Dave in our last encounter:

Screengrab via Facebook

Due to the pandemic, Daves loved ones will mourn him with a memorial service set for the summer. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with the funeral expenses.

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