Alexander Nassar Salem, age 87 of Naples, FL, died at his son's home in Lebanon on Friday, August 25, 2017.
Born on January 26, 1930 near Johnstown, PA, he was the third of five children of Mary and Jacob Salem.
Even as a child Al was a rascal and that self-confidence never left him, even to the very end of his life. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, then went on to college, first at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and then finished with a BS in chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, where he met and married Marilyn Maddox, his wife of nearly 60 years.
In his career as a chemist, Al created a brand new polymer compound that would help make metallic auto coatings possible. This was during his time at PPG. After PPG Al worked for Arco, later called Mobil Chemical, for over 10 years. He was plant manager in Cleveland, Ohio, then promoted in the corporate office in Edison, New Jersey.
He then left employment to start his own Enviro Paint Company in a garage at Van Doren Oil Company, Whitehouse. It was a family business with Marilyn keeping the books and Tom and JJ working in the factory. Al was the sales force.
After just two years, he saw that small industrial space for an operation such as Enviro Paint was difficult to come by, and at the same time saw the opportunity to purchase a former research mice and chicken farm, so moved both his business and his family up to Lebanon, NJ. Mary Elizabeth and David joined the firm in its new home. Salem Realty and Salem Family Associates followed as buildings went up and spaces filled. Enviro Paint eventually closed to make room for yet more small mfg. businesses. As the park filled, Al became a community success story, and the park is now over 40 years old.
Al was a Mason, and belonged to Kiwanis and Rotary clubs in New Jersey. Al was also a man of deep faith, and was instrumental in land acquisition and building construction for the new St. Paul’s Antiochan Orthodox Church of Naples Florida where he and Marilyn lived for the past 20 years.
Al is preceded in death by two sisters, Helen Shahade and Norma Sandor and his wife, Marilyn.
He leaves four children, Mary Elizabeth Orrell of Albuquerque, NM, John Salem of Naples, FL, Tom Salem and his wife, Loretta of Lebanon, David Salem of Flemington; 9 grandchildren and one great grandchild. He is also survived by two brothers, George of Latrobe and Edward of Ligonier, PA.
Al was loved by many and will be missed by all who knew him in New Jersey, Florida and elsewhere.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 11:00 AM at the Kearns Funeral Home, 103 Old Highway 28, Whitehouse, NJ 08888. Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the service from 10:00 to 11:00 AM.
Burial will be in Rural Hill cemetery in Whitehouse following the service.
In lieu of flowers donations are kindly requested to Grace Place for Children and Families at www.graceplacenaples.org or at PO Box 990531, Naples, FL 34116 or to the American Red Cross for relief of the Huston hurricane victims at www.redcross.org/Disaster-Relief/Hurricane.