Tags Posts tagged with "Obituary"


Photo courtesy Brian Drewes and Kristen Milligan

Prepared by Brian Drewes and Kristen Milligan

On a crisp November evening, we said a bittersweet farewell to Frederick William Drewes, our cherished father, grandfather, educator, traveler, partner and friend, who at 87 concluded a chapter of life full of warmth, laughter and profound humanity.

Born to Louise Kopp and Frederick Henry Drewes in Brooklyn, on Aug. 29, 1936, Fred was a student of life who sought to share his curiosity and creativity.

Fred’s tenure at Suffolk County Community College was marked by 32 years of dedication, where his classrooms became gardens of learning. His love for biology and environmental science was infectious, and his lessons stretched far beyond textbooks, sowing seeds of wonder and respect for the natural world.

This is not to say he was an easy professor — far from it. His expectations for his students were high, and some may say he was difficult. We can remember many occurrences through childhood where a stranger would say, “Oh, I know your father. He was my teacher in college — he was tough, but he’s a great guy.” We knew exactly what they meant.

As a father to Brian and Kristen, he was also a committed grandfather who softened in the presence of grandchildren Josephine, Lila, Andrew and Paden. His longtime companion, Patricia Curran, alongside her family and daughter-in-law Meizi and son-in-law Allen, were welcomed into the tapestry of our extended family.

Fred’s early years found challenges typical of recent immigrants, but these hardships taught him the resilience of the human spirit. These lessons became the foundation of a life dedicated to service, teaching and continued learning. Through his often jovial nature, many people around him felt the warmth of his welcome.

Fred was an avid traveler who embraced the beauty of diverse landscapes and human interactions. His journeys took him to countries across Europe, Africa and Asia, including a seven-month backpacking adventure through North Africa and the Middle and Far East. He embarked on a six-month thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 1998 and completed a yearlong bike journey to 44 countries in 2000 for the establishment of the Heritage Park in Mount Sinai. He even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa, always seeking to explore new places and connect with people.

His commitment to education and travel was paralleled by his love for his community, where he poured his heart into civic engagement, from the Mount Sinai Advisory Committee to the Master Gardener Training program, ski clubs and more. Fred’s humor became a signature of joy, especially treasured during the holidays when he would regale children and adults alike with his spirited rendition of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

The creation and nurturing of the Heritage Park stand as a testament to Fred’s vision for communal spaces filled with beauty and laughter. Each daffodil planted, each flag raised and each smiley face that bloomed in the park spoke of his playful nature and his dedication to bringing people together.

Fred’s restoration of his historic Shore Road, Mount Sinai home was more than a project; it was a manifestation of his love for storytelling and history. Through his efforts, the legacy of naturalist Robert Cushman Murphy and the tales of Long Island’s past were lovingly preserved, as Fred believed that stories were the best way to bring history alive and keep the community connected.

On Saturday, Dec. 16, we invite friends, family and those whose lives were touched by Fred’s boundless energy and heart to join us at Heritage Park in Mount Sinai for a Celebration of Life. It will be an occasion filled with anecdotes, laughter and shared joy, much like the life Fred so beautifully led.

In lieu of flowers, to mirror Fred’s dedication to the Earth and spirit of generosity, consider extending his legacy through contributions to open space and wildlife preservation causes. Let us honor Fred not with tears, but with acts of kindness, hearty laughs and an open heart, for that is how he lived each day.

He has left us a world more connected and far richer in spirit, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

Photo courtesy Ellen Brett

Ginny Svoboda, 84, of Homosassa, Florida, passed away Oct. 7. 

She was born Feb. 12, 1939, in Mineola and moved to Florida 31 years ago from Sound Beach. Ginny was an active volunteer member of the Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park. She was a homemaker and a talented artist.

Ginny is survived by her husband Bob; her children, Debbie (Louis), Dawn (Gary), Robert Jr., Mark (Tina), James (Julie), John (Karen) and Ellen (Danny); 15 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren and 10 nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister Carol Paige and brothers Bruce and Louis.

The funeral Mass was celebrated on Thursday, Oct. 12, at St. Benedict R.C. in Crystal River, Florida. Interment followed at Fero Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Beverly Hills, Florida. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to The Friends of Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park, 4150 S. Suncoast Blvd., Homosassa, FL 34446 and/or St. Benedict R.C. Church at 455 S. Suncoast Blvd., Crystal River, FL 34429.

Photo courtesy Nell Birk

Donna Goldberg was born in Walnut Creek, California, to Jean and Murrey Goldberg on July 22, 1960. The youngest of four siblings, she moved with her family to Port Jefferson in 1961.

Donna grew up in Port Jeff, attending the local schools until her senior year when her parents moved to Golden, Colorado. She graduated from Golden High School in 1978. Donna completed her undergraduate degree at Memorial University in St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada, where she had family on her mother’s side. She remained in Canada for almost 20 years, attending graduate school at the University of Toronto and working for Stats Canada, their census bureau, for a number of years.

Donna moved back to Golden, Colorado, in 2004 and then moved to Mexico in 2007. She spent the last 10 years of her life with her partner, Armando Lozano, in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where she died of natural causes on Sept. 21.

Donna had a quick wit and a way with words. She loved books and music, watching hockey and taking care of gardens and cats. 

She was preceded in death by her parents. Donna is survived by her partner, Armando Lozano; her cat, Mercedes; two brothers, Mark (Sheri) Goldberg of Florence, Oregon, and Glenn (Sue) Goldberg of Los Altos, California; sister, Nell (Bill) Birk of Carbondale, Colorado; nieces Layla Goldberg, Emily Missildine (Dominic), Anna Goldberg and Erin Goldberg; nephew, Colter Birk; and grandniece, Cora Missildine.

Photo from Nolan Funeral Home

John Craig Jr., of Milford, Connecticut — formerly of Port Jefferson and Rocky Point — died on Oct. 6 at 86 years of age.

He was the beloved husband of Joann for 40 years; the dear brother of Joan Wilkins; the loving father of Kevin, Michael (Kerry), Kathleen (Andy), John III (Stacey), Jaclyn (Anthony) and Peter (Brittany); the cherished grandfather of Ryan, Danielle, Sean, Brendan, Christina, Caitlin, Kyle, Taylor, Corinne, Kristin, Elizabeth, Justin, Jarrett, Mason, A.J., Copeland and Callen Jo; and the beloved great-grandfather of Colton.

John was an Air Force veteran. He was an aerospace controls warning systems operator and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal.

John worked at Gyrodyne and Telephonics Corporation for over 40 years, where he traveled the world and acquired many wonderful experiences.

His love of the great outdoors was evident in his passion for playing golf, sailing, walking on the beach and birdwatching as a member of the Audubon Society. He loved spending time with his family, especially for holiday brunches and long days at the beach.

Visitation was held at Nolan Funeral Home in Northport. A funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Anthony of Padua Church, East Northport. Private cremation followed.

Donations in his memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org) or Boys Town charities (www.boystown.org).

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Reuter Bongiorno
Prepared by Elizabeth Reuter Bongiorno

Phyllis Reuter Ironside, beloved mother, died peacefully Monday, Oct. 2, surrounded by her family, after a sudden and brief illness. She was 82.

Phyllis retired from Stony Brook University in 2000. However, she went back there later that year and was still working part time as a senior staff assistant in the billing office. She began employment at the university in 1974 and could never fully walk away from her job and her work family, who she loved dearly.

In addition to her work at Stony Brook University, Phyllis became an electrologist in 1983 and opened her own small practice where she practiced part time until 2020. She loved working with her clients and seeing the delight on their faces when she was able to help them. She was passionate about the industry and was a member, board member and officer of various electrologist associations, where she received several awards.

Phyllis lived in Stony Brook for over 60 years and graduated from Port Jefferson High School in 1959. She loved her community and enjoyed taking photos in the Three Village area. She also loved playing with her various dogs throughout the years.

Phyllis will be missed by her brother Robert P. Orr, daughter Elizabeth Reuter Bongiorno, son-in-law Carl T. Bongiorno, her loving step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren, co-workers, numerous friends and beloved dachshund Otto.

Photo courtesy Amy Christianson

Prepared by Amy Christianson

Kevin P. McMullen, age 76, died on Oct. 4. A memorial service will be held at the American Legion, 7 Woodside Avenue, Northport, New York, on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 4 p.m., with a reception following.

Kevin McMullen was born to Vincent L. McMullen and Eileen (Ryan) McMullen in 1947.

He lived most of his life in Northport. He attended Chaminade High School, then St. John’s University, where he excelled academically and was a very successful member of the debate team. He earned a J.D. from St. John’s Law School, Brooklyn, an L.L.M. from New York University Law School, an M.A. in comparative government and a certificate in international law and diplomacy from St. John’s, Jamaica. After admission to the Bar, he worked for a firm specializing in trusts and estates. He was house counsel for a small corporation before joining the Marino Bar Review Course and then Marino-Josephson BRC.

He was later a ghostwriter specializing in law and military affairs. A long-serving reservist, he retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel (infantry) after serving in Germany, Panama and Korea. He was an honor graduate of the resident course at the United States Army Command and General Staff College. He was an alumnus of the Air Staff College, the Naval War College, the Air War College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

A member of the New York County Lawyers’ Association, he served on the association’s library committee and was co-chair of the committee on foreign and international law. He was a member of the American Foreign Law Association, the American Society of International Law, the American Branch of the International Law Association, the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, the American Forensic Association, the Association of the U.S. Army, the Air Force Association and the Naval War College Foundation.

Kevin had a 15-year loving relationship with Amy Christianson. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Kevin’s memory may be made to the Chaminade High School Development Fund.

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Mary Boyle. Photo courtesy the Boyle Family

Prepared by the Boyle Family

Mary Lou “Peachy” Kelly Boyle, beloved wife, mother and a former director of the Bureau of Public Health Nursing for the Suffolk County Department of Health Services died Saturday, Oct. 7, after a sudden illness. She was 81.

An avid photographer, poet, boater, gardener and dog mom of Zoey and bird mom of Tootie, Mary Lou resided in Setauket for nearly 40 years.

Mary Lou was the oldest girl of seven siblings, born and raised in Freeport. She attended St. Agnes Cathedral School in Rockville Centre and graduated from Georgetown University School of Nursing. She spent her career as a nurse, working in New York City and Suffolk County hospitals before joining the Suffolk County Department of Health Services as a public health nurse in 1973. While working her way up the ranks of the Bureau of Public Health Nursing, she obtained a master of science in nursing from Adelphi University in 1983. By 1990, she was named the director of that bureau, implementing home care-based public health nursing programs for more than a decade before retiring in 2001.

Mary Lou served on many professional advisory boards and committees related to nursing, hospice care, child protection and AIDS patients. She chaired the Suffolk County Legislature’s Comparable Worth Commission, which sought to increase pay for nurses in the late 1980s.

She received numerous professional awards and recognitions, including the New York State Public Health Association’s 1993 award for outstanding leadership in public health.

A private service is planned. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice online or by check sent to Good Shepherd Hospice, 110 Bi-County Blvd, Suite 114, Farmingdale, NY 11735. It is also possible to call 631-465-6350 and pay by credit card or request a donation envelope.

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David Mills

David Mills, of Setauket, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, Sept. 22, at the age of 75. He is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Mary Lu; his five children, Jared (Jancie), Ethan (Maura), Johanna (Ronan), Emily (Laura) and Liza (Brett); and his eight grandchildren, Scarlett, Beckett, Helena, Adelyn, Cormac, Seamus, Piper and Calum. He leaves behind his siblings, Stephen (Christine), Carl (Barbara), Barbara (Michael) and Ellen (Nancy) and a large extended family. He was predeceased by his parents, Dr. R. Sherman Mills and Marie Magner Mills.

David was the fifth generation of the Mills family to reside in Setauket. He spent his childhood and adolescence riding horses and exploring the open waters of the Long Island Sound. He graduated from Earl L. Vandermeulen High School in 1966 and attended the University of Miami before graduating from Hofstra University in 1973.

Early in his professional career, David worked for RIF International Corporation, which allowed him the opportunity to travel extensively in Europe and the Middle East. He later started his own construction business and sustained a long career managing residential and commercial building projects throughout the Northeast. 

David was a recognizable presence in the community, known for his no-nonsense demeanor, warm heart and willingness to help anyone. He was an integral contributor to the Three Village lacrosse program as a coach, president and then a loyal supporter, where you could hear his booming voice on the sidelines of countless lacrosse games throughout the years. 

David will be remembered for his dry sense of humor, love of history and literature, passion for working with his hands and steadfast dedication to his family. 

There will be a celebration of his life on Saturday, Oct. 14, at Harbor View Farm, 87 Shore Road, East Setauket, from 2 to 5 p.m., with words of remembrance at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation in his memory either online at www.kidney.org or to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd St., New York, NY 10016.

Dom Famularo

By Michael Tessler

In the face of great loss, we often grapple with the inexplicable question of how someone so full of life could ever truly be gone. These past few days, I have wrestled with this question, trying to reconcile the vibrant spirit of Dom Famularo with the solemn reality of his passing on Sept. 27 at the age of 70.

Undoubtedly, there will be countless tributes to the legacy of this marvel of a man. I’m sharing with you just one experience on how he changed the trajectory of my life.

I first had the privilege of meeting Mr. Famularo when I was just a fourth-grader. His son and I became fast friends. His eldest son proudly declared his dad was famous. Turns out, he was telling the truth! 

Mr. Famularo was one of the greatest drummers of our time, described as the “global ambassador of drumming” who traveled the world teaching his craft. His students and admirers included famous names from nearly every genre of music and hailed from every habitable continent.

He was more than a musician. He was a motivational speaker, an entrepreneur, and a public servant. His generosity knew no bounds, touching the lives of countless individuals. 

He was a world-traveler, a man who often knew more about a place than the locals who called it home. He was a student of history, who somehow found time to be well-read on subjects that spanned all eras of history.

For years, I’ve had the good fortune to consider myself an honorary Famularo. Their cousins felt like my cousins, and we shared countless family gatherings and experiences that bound us together. 

There was a time when I moved back to New York, feeling lost in life. I had no place to live, no job, no college degree, and no clear direction. It was Dom and his incredible wife Charmaine who took me in, offering me a bed and ensuring I had something to eat.

It was Mr. Famularo who inadvertently kickstarted my film career. One morning while I was moping in their kitchen, ready to throw in the towel on a fruitless job hunt, he gave me a pep talk and suggested I peruse the Classifieds in the Port Times Record. It was there that I found my job selling advertisements that would eventually lead to my work on TBR News Media’s first feature film. 

Those were tough days, filled with long hours and a juggling act of night classes at a community college, full-time work, and a part-time job at a pawn shop on the weekends. Yet, every morning as I quietly had breakfast and sipped on coffee, Dom would come downstairs, as if ready for battle, energized and full of life, exclaiming, “MIKEY BOY! IT IS A BEAUTIFUL MORNING!”

Living with Dom answered the question, “Is he really like this ALL the time?” The answer was an unequivocal yes. Dom’s magic lay in his ability to light up a room with his presence, to make everyone feel like they were the most important person in the world. Quick-witted, smart, and full of innuendo, he had the remarkable ability to make even those who were upset with him burst into laughter and be in awe of his charm.

Despite being a famous musician with a massive international fanbase, Dom Famularo gave himself wholeheartedly to this community. He somehow found time to serve on committees, becoming an expert on matters as mundane as metered parking. Even in his final months, he found the strength to go to Village Hall and confront a bully. He was a public servant, a true advocate for his community, a relentless voice for reason, kindness, and doing what is right. 

But Dom’s secret power was not his public speaking ability, his magnificent drumming, nor his uncanny ability to make you feel like the most important person in the world. Of all the things to admire about Dom Famularo, it was his family that shone the brightest. 

Dom’s parents were remarkable, a testament to the greatest generation. He and his siblings carried forward their legacy. I’d never seen such a close-knit and special family before. His pride and joy were his three boys. Each unique, kind, brilliant, generous, and, like their father, hysterical. 

Of all his great achievements, none rivals marrying Charmaine. He would be the first to admit that she was his better half. In addition to raising three incredible boys, she managed to build Dom’s drumming empire, and has always been his secret weapon. Her strength, her heart, and her remarkable resilience never stops leaving me in awe.  

Our last conversation was at the beginning of summer. Somehow, despite a ferocious battle with cancer, he found the energy to greet me with that same familiar “MIKEY BOY!” that I had heard countless times before. I will treasure that conversation forever.

Mr. Famularo, you gave me a home when I had none. You gave me a purpose when I was lost. You believed in me before I believed in myself. You spent your life hoping to leave a mark, to make a difference, to live relentlessly — you did more than that. You’ve inspired countless others to do the same. You are magnificent, the embodiment of magic, and more than anything you are loved now and forever.

So I’ve found the answer to my question. Dom’s mantle is not one that any single individual will ever be able to carry, but between all of us who knew him and have loved him — we will ensure his light will never diminish. As we find a way to move onward, Dom moves upward. Serving now as a great North Star, reminding us just how bright we can shine…if only we’re willing to share our light.

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Peter X. Carolyn

Peter Xavier Carolan of Mendham, New Jersey, formerly of New York City and Northport, passed on Thursday, Sept. 14. He had recently celebrated his 75th birthday and 39th wedding anniversary.

Born on Aug. 23, 1948, in Brooklyn to Peter and Margaret (Pace) Carolan, the young Peter grew up in Northport and attended Northport High School, graduating in 1966. He then graduated from Niagara University in 1970 with a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in travel, trade and transportation. In 1975, Peter completed his master’s in business administration from the NYU Stern School of Business.

Prior to and while completing his master’s, Peter worked for American Express in the Park Avenue, New York City office. He later moved to Citibank until 1979, when he left to commit full time to his growing import-export business, Real Torino. A workaholic by nature, for 40-plus years, Peter successfully managed multiple companies importing breadsticks (grissini), pasta and other Italian food products nationwide.

In addition to his many personal accomplishments, his greatest joy was celebrating the successes of his children. In recent years, his five grandchildren always put a smile on his face. His generosity and loyalty were omnipresent, and he would do anything to help someone he considered family or a close friend.

Loving husband of 39 years to Elena (Bibini) Carolan, he was the devoted father of Peter G. (Katelyn), Monica (Brett), Sofia and Ellie and beloved grandfather and “Pop Pop” to Mia, Carter, Kirsa, Luce and Aurelia. He is survived by siblings Leonard (Christine) Carolan, Margaret (Len) Modelewski and Frances (John) Marino.

He reposed at Nolan Funeral Home, in Northport, on Sunday, Sept. 17. 

A Catholic funeral Mass was celebrated on Sept. 18, at Saint Philip Neri Church in Northport. Interment followed in the parish cemetery in East Northport.

Donations in lieu of flowers in Peter’s memory may be made to The Peck School, 247 South St., Morristown, NJ 07960.