OAKLAND, N.J. — An Oakland resident who turns 91 on Wednesday will be honored Tuesday night, Nov. 10, as the Hero of the Game at the New Jersey Devils' Annual Military Appreciation Night.
Word War II Army veteran August “Gus” Alfred Steidl fought for for years, beginning in 1944, in France, Germany, Austria and what was then Czechoslovakia.
"He is my hero," said Steidl's daughter, Deborah Hauck of Cape Cod, Mass.
"He is the most influential man of my life," she said. "He grew up with a father who did not like him, who told him he was stupid and wouldn't amount to anything."
Steidl earned his Purple Heart when an artillery shell exploded during the war. He is also a recipient of the Presidential Unit Citation.
Steidl returned to work at Westrin Electric once he was discharged and moved to Oakland in 1959. He drove a truck and was a "full-time dad" to Hauck and her brother, Hauck said.
"He takes pride in what he does," she said, nothing her father's dedication as a custodian for children with special needs. "His work ethic is unparalleled. He loves America. He's proud of his country."
The grandfather of four taught Hauck the value of self-respect and family along with the insignificance of material possessions, she said.
"He has has so much love to give," Hauck said. "He's got another 10 years in him — he's sharp as a tack.
"This is just the exclamation point on a beautiful life."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.