Al was born and raised in Amityville, NY. After graduating from the Amityville schools, he attended RCA Institutes in New York City, acquiring an Associate Degree in Electronic Technology and a Federal Communications Commission 1st Class Radio Telephone Operator’s License. He also holds a General Class Amateur Radio Operator’s license.
Al’s first employment was with Republic Aviation Corporation in Farmingdale, NY as an Engineering Assistant in the Antenna Lab. However his real desire was to be in Radio Broadcasting.
In 1963 he entered his chosen field as a Transmitter Engineer for WFYI, 1520-AM, Mineola, NY, now WTHE.
From 1964-1966 he was employed by WGLI, 1290-AM, (FM-94.3 for a short time), Babylon, NY, now DARK (off the air), in the Engineering Department.
In 1966 he became Chief Engineer of WGBB, 1240-AM, Freeport, NY. He constructed their new studio facilities on Broadcast Plaza in Merrick, which was WGBB’s home for about 20 years. In 1970 he constructed a new transmitting facility in Freeport, replacing the original building which had been in use since 1924.
In 1967 an “air shift” was added to his duties. Al was the Saturday Evening personality on WGBB for over 10 years from 1967 to 1977. After a four year hiatus from broadcasting, he resumed his Saturday Evening oldies shows, averaging once a month for about another 10 years on WLNG 92.1-FM, Sag Harbor, NY.
After another few years of broadcasting being on the back burner, on March 1st, 2003, Al became the host of WLNG-FM’s “Nightwatch” Tuesday through Sunday mornings, 12:05AM to 5:30AM.
He also has a vacation home In Sag Harbor very close to WLNG’s studios.
In September 1977, Al left WGBB radio to enlarge his own business of Public Safety Communications. This involved the construction and maintenance of communications systems for Police and Fire Departments. During the peak of this era, he was responsible for most of the fire departments in the Town Of Babylon, NY.
This included constructing a new Babylon Central Fire Alarm Center 1n 1986, which was in service until September 1997 when BCFA moved to a larger operation constructed by Al’s sucessor, Bay Village Communications. In 1978 he constructed the headquarters console for the Amityville Police Department. This was in service until October 1997.
He also constructed consoles for the Amityville, Copiague, West Babylon and North Lindenhurst Fire Departments.
Al retired from this field in 1993.
In addition to servicing the fire departments, Al has been a member of the Amityville Fire Department since August 1961. He belonged to Hose Company Number 1 until it was dispanded in 2011 and now belongs to Hook & Ladder Company Number 1. He was the Group Leader of the Water Rescue Squad from 2005 until 2013, and has been Secretary of the Rescue Squad since August 1996.
Al is a Chaplain for the AFD, is on the Blood Bank, Good and Welfare, Radios and Alarms, Computer and Attendance Committees. He was Captain of the Rescue Squad at the time of the now famous “DeFeo murders” in the house that later became known as “The Amityville Horror”.
In 1975 Al received the “Fireman Of The Year Award” for his work in organizing the Rescue Squad. He has also received the Department’s “High Percentage Of The Year” award in 1979, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and the “Most Number of Rescue Calls” award in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. He was also a Warden on the Fire Council from 1974 to 1994.
He was also a First Aid Instructor for the American Red Cross, a NY State EMT and AEMT in the 1970s.
Al is a member of the Firemen’s Association Of The State Of New York. He served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Amityville Historical Society for several years and was elected to the Board of Trustees on October 11, 2006.
Al was also elected to the Board of Trustees of the Amityville Cemetery Association on November 1, 2006.
On Long Island’s “East End”, Al is a member of the Sag Harbor Historical Society, the Sag Harbor Whaling Museum, the “Friends of the Long Pond Greenbelt”, the “Southampton Trails Preservation Society” and the South Fork Natural History Museum.
Although Al has always had a great interest in music, particularily the organ, time restrictions kept him from pursuing it seriously until his retirement from the Communications business in 1993.
Since then he has worked hard to progress in this area and has served as a substitute organist at The Sag Harbor United Methodist Church, the 1st Presbyterian Church of Sag Harbor, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Southampton, St. Andrew’s Dune Church in Southampton, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and the 1st United Methodist Church in Amityville.
For the past ten years Al has participated in the annual Choir Festival in Ocean Grove, NJ. This is an event where well over 1000 voices from church choirs all over the Northeast join to form one huge choir for a Sunday evening concert.
He also participated in the Choral Festival Weekends hosted by the 1st Presbyterian Church of Northport for about 3 years.
Al regularly sings with the choirs of the 1st United Methodist Church of Amityville, the 1st Presbyterian Church of Sag Harbor and St. John’s Episcopal Church of Southampton.
Al was also a substitute organist for the Ray Heatherton Breakfast Club during the 1970s. He has played for the Village Of Amityville Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for well over 35 years and nearly as long for the Amityville Historical Society’s Christmas party.
In August 2007, Al became one of the “House Organists” at Chaminade High School in Mineola, NY where they have a Fantastic3/15 Austin-Morton theatre pipe organ. For those not familiar, the 3 indicates 3 full length keyboards of 61 notes each, and the 15 indicates the number of ranks of pipes in the organ, the smallest being about the size of a fever thermometer and the largest being about 16 feet in length and about a foot in diameter. The organ is powered by a 15 horsepower electric motor. This is a mighty instrument that has to be heard to be appreciated.
Al’s personal collection of organs includes a Hammond A-100 with numerous external speakers and “Leslies”, a Hammond RT-3, a Hammond Porta-B and a 1952 Schulmerich Carillon complete with parchment roll player. He also has a Rodgers 33E at his home that belongs to a friend. He never runs out of instruments to play. Unfortunately, most of these instruments were damaged by flood waters from “Superstorm Sandy” in 2012.
in April 2006, Al was nominated for the position of Sub-Dean of the Suffolk County Chapter of the American Guild Of Organists and was installed into that position on June 11th for a two year term. In April 2008, he was nominated for a position of the newly formed “Members at Large” Board of the Suffolk chapter and was installed into that position on June 1st for a two year term.
In August 2013, partially as a result of Superstorm Sandy, Al launched “Amityville Community Radio”, an internet based radio station designed to provide local information to Amityville along with Easy Listening music. Because of the rarity of the music format, the station has gained worldwide listeners. The Amityville Village Board acknowledged the station at their meeting of October 7, 2013.
At the Amityville Village Board meeting of February 10, 2014, Al received a proclaimation from the Village for having played the organ for the Annual Tree Lighting for 35 years, for having established Amityville Community Radio and for his 53 years of service in the Amityville Fire Department.
Alan passed away December 31, 2017 and leaves behind his two cousins, Gerald and George Case, friends Jackie Westbrook, Bill Carmen, Linda Hoffman and many other friends and associates in various Fire departments throughout LI and Sag Harbor. Visiting will be held Tuesday, January 9, 2018 from 4:00 - 9:00 pm at the Powell Funeral Home, Inc., 67 Broadway, Amityville. Amityville Fire Department will conduct firematic services at 8:00 pm. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 10, 2017 at 10:00 am in St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 147 Park Ave., Amityville. Interment will follow in the Amityville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Al's memory may be made to the Amityville Fire Department or the Little Shelter Animal Rescue Center. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
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