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Born March 8, 1932, in Long Branch, N.J., the first son of Chester and Grace Wiseburn Apy. “Chet” died on May 30, 2021, surrounded by family and friends. He was a lifelong resident of Little Silver, New Jersey, until he moved to the Atrium in Red Bank in 2013, where his grandfather, his mother and his aunt had all spent their last years.

Chet attended elementary school in Little Silver, one year at Red Bank High School, then attended and graduated cum laude from The Peddie School, Hightstown, New Jersey, in 1949. He took a “gap” year studying in post-war England at the Sherborne School as an exchange student of the English-Speaking Union. Following that, he entered Princeton University, graduating cum laude in politics in 1954 and concluded his professional education in 1957 with his L.L.B from Columbia Law School. He was then called to the bar in New Jersey in 1957 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1963. After a distinguished legal career in private practice, he was appointed Judge of the Workers Compensation Court, where he served for a decade between 1994 and 2004.

During the Korean conflict, while at Princeton, Chet enlisted in the Naval Reserves serving honorably until January of 1959 as a Yeoman 3rd class, in radar operations.

Between his final exams at Princeton and the commencement exercises held a week later, he married Florence Pye, whom he had met in an 8th grade dancing class. He later insisted that she had been “swept off her feet and after a lifetime has not yet hit the ground”. Flo and Chet would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary on June 5, 2021.

Chet and Flo were, together, committed to civil rights and racial equity. Chester was an unwavering advocate against the death penalty, serving as co-chair of the State Council to Abolish Capital Punishment. Notably, in 1962 he defended pro-bono a death row inmate before the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals. In the legislature, he would offer several amendments as an alternative to New Jersey’s death penalty statute.

He served in elected positions as a Republican candidate on the Little Silver Borough Council and two- terms in the New Jersey State Assembly.  He was an advisor to Gateway National Recreation Commission and was appointed by Governor Tom Kean to the Tidelands Resource Council. His service extended to a host of diverse non-profits. He was named a “life member” of the NAACP in 1991, and in 1996 was named a “Distinguished Eagle Scout” by the Monmouth Council of the Boy Scouts of America.   He was a Trustee at the Community YMCA, the Chancellor of Southern District of the United Methodist Church in New Jersey, an active member of the Monmouth Conservation Foundation, and many other civic and non-profit organizations. He served as President of the Camp Bethel Association, a multi denominational Christian campground on the National Register of Historic Places in Haddam Ct.

Chet is survived by his wife, Florence Pye Apy, their three sons David C. and Patricia McHale Apy of Little Silver; Donald W. and Jennifer Don Apy of Fremont, CA, and Dean W. and Susan Yount Apy of La Crescenta, CA, and ten grandchildren: Emily and husband Danny Bera, Alexandria VA, David Jr. and Daniel; Andrew, Marissa, and Christopher, and Alexandra, Mallory, Jackson, and Trevor. He is also survived by his brother Edward and Sharon Apy and beloved nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family invites those wishing to honor Chet to join them in contributing to the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation; the United Methodist Church of Red Bank; The Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury; the Community YMCA Red Bank or to the organizations and houses of worship of their choice which seek to serve the marginalized and underrepresented among us.

All services are private. A Memorial Service will be held in August. 

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Bruce S. Thompson, Owner & Manager, NJ LIC #3740

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