A longtime resident of West Carthage, Bernie wore many hats during his more than 65 years in the fire service. He was known throughout New York State as an advocate for volunteer firefighters.
Bernie was the vice chair of the FASNY Legislative Committee prior to his tenure as president. After his presidency, Bernie continued to serve as FASNY’s financial secretary from 1975 to 1982 and also served as a trustee of the FASNY Firemen’s Home. He was a lifetime member of the Northern New York Volunteer Firemen’s Association, where he was secretary from 1960 to 1968.
Bernie began his career with the West Carthage Fire Department, where he joined in 1948. He rose through the ranks to serve as chief, charter member of the Hornets Drill Team and life member of the benevolent association.
He was a charter and lifetime member of the Northern New York Drill Teams Association and member of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs.
Throughout his life, Bernie deeply enjoyed his time devoted to fire service and spending time with the many friends he made as a volunteer firefighter.
He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1944 to 1946 and in the New York State Army National Guard from 1954 to 1987, retiring as a chief warrant officer 0-4. He was employed as a maintenance technician/supervisor at NYS Army National Guard Equipment Concentration Site at Fort Drum, retiring in 1981 after more than 27 years of service.
Bernie was very involved in community service for the village of West Carthage, where he served on the police force from 1951 to 1962 and as police chief from 1962 to 1967. He was a village trustee from 1967 to 1977 and mayor from 1981 to 1983.
He is survived by his wife, Rosemary; three daughters Michelle, Danielle and Aimee; three sons Peter, Christopher and Jon; 15 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Mary, Elenor, Helen and Emily and his brother William. He is predeceased by his brother Donald, sister Anna Woodward and son-in-law Tony Cocuzzoli.
Funeral services were held May 7, 2015, at St. James Church in Carthage.
His family asks donations be made in his name to The Heritage Fund at St. James Catholic Church, West Street, Carthage, NY 13619 or FASNY Firemen’s Home, 125 Harry Howard Ave., Hudson, NY 12534 in lieu of flowers.