Albinus F. “Al” Hertel, 87, Hays, died Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at the Parkview Care Center in Osborne, Kansas.
He was born February 17, 1931 in Munjor, Kansas the son of Peter A. and Amelia (Sander) Hertel. He was raised on the family farm east of Munjor and he and his brothers farmed the land with their father. On November 6, 1950 he was united in marriage to Lucy C. Lietz at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hays. They celebrated over 65 years of marriage before she preceded him in death on April 30, 2016.
Al not only worked on the family farm, he also worked several years in the summer months on a ranch near Chester, Montana. Later, he moved to Great Bend, Kansas working as a dozer operator for Wilkerson Tractor Co. As time went on, Al and Lucy moved their young family to Hays where Al worked for Rupp Motor Co. and the Farmers Co-op. He worked there at the time Interstate 70 was being built and the work crews brought tires in for repair by the truckloads. He was a master mechanic at Montgomery Ward Auto Center. During this period, he worked evenings with his vacuum truck that he put together in 1960, creating Al Hertel Pit Cleaning. He operated Al’s DX Service Station at 13th and Vine in the 1970’s, where his customer friendships grew and grew. In the late 70’s, Al added several vacuum trucks to his fleet and Hertel Tank Service was created. He was very proud of his equipment and that his sons could work by his side. The Tank Service continues today with the 3rd generation. While his trucks were being used in the oil field and industrial applications, Al created Hertel Oil Company in 1983. Through all this time, Al continued to farm and established JMA Farms in 1987. He loved the land and loved being diversified. He shared his kindness and his own blessings, always buying people meals, helping out stranded friends, and contributing time, talent, and treasure to the local catholic churches.
He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council #6984.
Survivors include three sons; David and wife Virginia of Arvada, CO, Michael and wife Lori and John and wife Laura, all of Hays, a daughter; Kathy and husband Patrick Thrash of Eastvale, CA, three sisters-in-law,:Pat Lietz of Wichita, Aletha Hertel of Hays, and Anna Lessor of Great Bend, eight grandchildren; Christina Hertel and Stacy Kadota of Arvada, Lisa Hertel and Heath Ritchie of Westminster, CO, Michelle and Mike Schlyer of Hays, Craig and Mallory Hertel of Hays, Brett Hertel and Tara Hertel of Hays, Marc and Katy Hertel of Russell, Jill and Jake Schlegel of Shawnee, eight great grandchildren; Spencer and Caden Hertel-Kadota of Arvada, CO, Jenna and Paige Schlyer, Sophie and Mya Hertel, all of Hays, and Mary-Kate Hertel and Reese Owens, both of Russell.
He was preceded in death by his wife Lucy, his parents, and four brothers, William and wife Regina, Clarence and wife Helen, Elmer, and Virgil Hertel.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 9:30 am on Saturday, April 7, 2018 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 215 W. 13th, Hays, with Fr. Fred Gatschet officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5:00 pm until 8:00 on Friday and from 8:30 am until 9:15 on Saturday, all at the Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine Street. A parish vigil service will be at 6:30 pm followed by a Knights of Columbus rosary, both on Friday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to St. Joseph Catholic Church or to St. Nicholas of Myra Church Renovation. Condolences may be left for the family at www.haysmemorial.com
Hays Man Impresses Them
The following letter appeared in a past issue of The Hays Daily News
Recently on a trip from Boulder to Oklahoma City my friend and I were plagued with car trouble.
Being two single girls stranded on the highway at night can be frightening, especially when we had no working headlights. As we came to Hays it was obvious we had to have some repairs if we expected to be back at work in Oklahoma City by the next day. Mr. Al Hertel at the DX Service Station was just closing his station as we pulled in but he kindly took on the job of diagnosing our trouble, which incidentally no one from Oklahoma to Colorado could do correctly.
After an hour’s labor and a trip across town to open up the garage and get a part, Mr. Hertel had our car in top working order.
We were two very grateful young ladies to say the least. This dedicated and delightful man will always remain in our minds as one of the best examples of human kindness and concern. It seemed sad that our appreciation could only be shown by monetary means (about which Mr. Hertel had said, “Just pay me what you can.”) so we would like to make it known to the citizens of Hays that we were impressed with your city, especially a certain Mr. Hertel. And thank you, Sir, for your time, your knowledge and your concern.
- Becky Gable, Missie Mager, Oklahoma City.