Archive for the tag 'obituaries'

Richie Randazzo (Source:

The doorman from Avenue U who won the $5 million jackpot died from lung cancer last week.

Richie Randazzo, who had been battling the disease for a year, died on November 14 at age 50. His funeral mass was held at St. Simon & St. Jude Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn at 11:45am today, according to Cusimano & Russo Funeral Home.

Randazzo spent most of his life opening doors at a posh Park Avenue building until he was catapulted to tabloid fame in 2008 for winning a $10 Set For Life scratch ticket – guaranteeing him $5000 a week for life.

After his win, things got complicated for the Gravesend native. Randazzo, who described himself as “New York’s most eligible bachelor,” said he intended to keep his $40,000 a year gig as a doorman, but he was fired after going on a gambling binge with his 23-year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Sabina Johansson. Their relationship ended shortly afterwards when Johansson was busted for promoting prostitution. One of Randazzo’s dreams was to make a name for himself in reality television, but after his diagnosis, Randazzo chose to spend the rest of his time close to home, reports the New York Post:

…he kept things simple and mostly tooled around Brooklyn, fishing in Sheepshead Bay or passing time with friends at Caffe Caggiano on Avenue U.

Last year, he said he was searching for the love of his life, while also forgoing a risky surgery for lung cancer.

“Things are always going to change. When you’re on a losing streak, you have to start winning,” Randazzo said from his boyhood home in Gravesend, where he lived even after the windfall.

Randazzo’s page was flooded with condolences Sunday. We are sure he will be missed.

Here’s an interview with Randazzo on Fox News shortly after his win:

Ed Eisenberg at the 2010 Sheepshead Bay Memorial Day Parade

For more than 40 years he was entwined in the fabric of the Southern Brooklyn community. He was ever-present at community meetings, where he was frequently recognized for stellar attendance. He was a member of numerous civic groups; so many that no one can list them all. He rubbed elbows, and sometimes chewed out, politicians including every Brooklyn borough president from Howard Golden to Eric Adams, and too many councilmembers, state legislators and congressmen to count. He charmed with self-deprecating jokes, and had a habit of starting conversations smack-dab in the middle of it. And he loved his local parks, his waterfront and his community up until he drew his final breath.

Longtime community activist Edward “Eddie” Eisenberg passed away yesterday afternoon at the age of 79 years old, after being admitted to Maimonides Medical Center with heart-related complications.

“It was just his biggest passion to have everything clean and safe around here. To the very end. Lord knows, even when he was losing it at the end, he wanted his attache case because he had the results of the previous Community Board elections in there,” said Leigh Eisenberg, 42, the younger of Eisenberg’s two sons.

Born in Flatbush in 1934, Eisenberg attended private high schools before obtaining an associate degree at New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn.

Eisenberg in Fort Ord, Salinas, California

As armistice negotiations were being finalized on the Korean peninsula, Eisenberg enlisted in the United States Army and served at Fort Ord in Salinas, California, where he worked as an information specialist from 1954 to 1956.

He returned to his home borough and began his career as a salesman of packaging supplies. He met his wife, Eileen, now 74, at a singles event and the two married in 1965. They moved to Manhattan Beach shortly afterwards.

Eisenberg took to civic involvement in his adopted neighborhood with a fervor “as soon as they moved into the neighborhood,” said Leigh. “He loved Manhattan Beach and he really just always wanted to see it well maintained and safe from the moment he moved into the area.”

No one can recall exactly when he joined Community Board 15, but the lowest estimates of his tenure from friends and family put it at 38 years, easily making him the longest-serving member of the 50-person body – and perhaps the most passionate.

“I just remember as a little kid, he was so involved taking us kids fishing at Kingsborough Community College, sharing his passion for the water around the neighborhood. He just couldn’t help out in the community enough,” said Leigh.

His chief concern, Scavo said, was in lobbying the city to invest in parks.

“He always, always wanted parks – that was his shtick in life. Not transportation, parks. That was it. Every meeting, you had to support the parks, he was very, very, very involved with Parks Department issues,” said Scavo. “He was always crazed with parks.”

Former Councilman Lew Fidler, who recommended Eisenberg for reappointment to the Board in recent years, added that Eisenberg stood out for his eagerness to go above and beyond in considering Board matters.

“He was always vocal about getting to the bottom of every land use issue that came before the Board. He was so committed that when an application came before the Board he would visit the site and talk to neighbors about what they thought about the project,” said Fidler. “It really didn’t matter to him if it was across the street in Manhattan Beach or all the way in Homecrest. It makes you wonder how good a Community Board could be if every member took it as seriously as Ed.”

Local elected officials have issued statements on Eisenberg’s passing.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz posted on Facebook:

He knew the details of every community meeting and neighborhood event, almost before they were scheduled. He was generous of spirit, always eager to help and ferociously proud of the community he called home. My condolences to his wife, Eileen, and everyone who knew and loved him. Ed, you will be sorely missed but never forgotten.

Councilman Chaim Deutsch said the following in a press release:

“I’ve known Ed for a long time, and have always admired the passion he held for his favorite part of Brooklyn,” said Council Member Chaim Deutsch. “My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, his two sons, and all the friends he’s left behind. Manhattan Beach will never be the same.”

Borough President Eric Adams issued a statement as well:

My sincerest condolences go to out to Ed’s wife, children and relatives, as well as the larger South Brooklyn family that knew and loved his commitment to the community. From his service to our country to his deep civic engagement, Ed left a legacy for all of us to admire. He was the epitome of the volunteer spirit, an example for Brooklynites today and tomorrow to follow.

Eisenberg’s idiosyncrasies and sense of humor will be as well remembered as his advocacy.

“Ed was, if nothing else, a unique character,” Fidler remembered. “And for whatever else people want to say about Ed, he really cared about his community and his family. He used to speak about his son in Australia all the time. Quirky, of course, but you couldn’t really question where his heart was. Community was his whole life outside his family.”

Scavo remembers the costumes, stuff of legend among those involved in local civic life. Eisenberg kept a closet full of costumes, which he donned at annual gatherings over the years.

“Night Out Against Crime was always the Keystone Cop. When it came to Memorial Day, he always used to pull out Army uniforms. He always had Halloween masks and costumes, and no matter what he had a costume to go with that occasion,” she said.

His quirks did not escape his family’s notice, and they remain fond memories in the wake of his passing.

“Everyone knew him. Lord knows the man was eccentric but he had a heart as big as the moon and everyone knew it,” said Leigh Eisenberg.

Eisenberg is survived by his wife, Eileen; his eldest son, Glenn, 46, who with his wife Simone gave Eisenberg a grandson, Aaron, 2; and his youngest son, Leigh, who with his wife Jill gave Eisenberg two granddaughters, Raya, 11, and Anissa, 9. Eisenberg is also survived by his sisters Marianne and Lisa, and his brother Steve.

A service will be held for Ed Eisenberg on Tuesday, March 4, at 1:00 p.m. at Parkside Memorial Chapels (2576 Flatbush Avenue, at the corner of Avenue V). The family has chosen not to direct donations, saying that Ed had cared for too many things to pick just one, and requested that anyone wishing to make a donation send them to any community-oriented charities or groups.

Update (March 3 at 2:30 p.m.): A statement from Borough President Eric Adams was added to this post.

Pips Comedy Club (Source: / Inset: Marty Schultz

Pips Comedy Club (Source: / Inset: Marty Schultz

Marty Schultz, the former owner of Emmons Avenue’s legendary Pips Comedy Club, and last surviving son of the club’s founder, passed away on October 1 at the age of 58 in Las Vegas.

Marty and his brother, Seth, took over ownership of Pips – regarded as the oldest comedy club in America until its closure in the mid-2000s – after the passing of their father, George in 1991. They had already been running the joint for many years, raised to be part of the family business.

The club opened in 1962, named after George’s dog, Pip, becoming the launching pad of many of America’s greatest comedians, including Rodney Dangerfield, David Brenner and Andrew Dice Clay. It regularly played host to legends like Woody Allen, George Carlin and Andy Kaufman.

2005 Emmons Avenue, the former location of Pips Comedy Club.

It was also known as one of the roughest crowds in the comedy club circuit, a place “where even bartenders heckled,” according to one New York Times report. And when budding comics took a beating on stage, it was Marty and Seth who provided encouragement.

Seth died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound five years ago, leaving Marty as the last surviving son of the club’s founder. Marty passed away last Monday, leaving behind a daughter, Georgi, named after his beloved father.

While Seth was better known as the front man, booking the talent, glad-handing the patrons and warming up the crowd with his stand-up bits, Marty was the behind-the-scenes operator who kept the business running.

As the club struggled in the early 90s, with the rise of comedy clubs in Manhattan and the surge in crime in Southern Brooklyn, it reeled even more after the death of their renowned father. Seth and Marty sold the club to Michael Palmiero in 1995. It was sold to comedian Joey Gay in 2004 and shut down shortly after, replaced by a sushi restaurant, as so many things in Sheepshead Bay have been.

On Marty’s death notice on, Palmiero wrote:

I had a special place for Marty in my heart. I bought Pip’s Comedy Club from Marty back in 1995. I became the 2nd owner of the oldest Comedy Club in America. This is a great loss. I developed the same love for Pip’s Comedy Club as Marty had for Pip’s Comedy Club.

My heart goes out to Georgi for the loss of her dad. I hope someday I may meet Marty’ s daughter and share my experience with her father. I pray for Marty in heaven and may he bring laughter and comedy to all those who are not with us today.

Seth bounced around after the closure, spending a decade trying to make it as an actor. He produced several videos – mostly weird – and was known as the only man who could get Andy Kaufman to “be himself” on camera. Yet he never found the success he yearned for.

Marty moved on to Las Vegas, rising from a low-level position as a blackjack dealer in the Golden Nugget to management level at various Vegas staples, including the Palms Casino Resort and Tropicana Las Vegas.

Friends and family gathered for Marty’s funeral service this morning, at the Kraft-Sussman Funeral Services in Nevada. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations to help support Georgi’s college fund may be sent to Georgi Schultz, 3241 Dusty Daylight Court, Henderson, NV 89052 or deposits may be made at any Wells Fargo, Account No. 2950319646.

Keep reading for a few videos we found featuring the Schultzes and Pips.

Roz Cohen with a portrait of her late husband, Norman.

Coney Island Hospital (2601 Ocean Parkway) and the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group dedicated a new exhibit space in the hospital to the memory of Norman Cohen, the late husband of Councilman Domenic Recchia staffer Roz Cohen.

Cohen, 83, passed away on January 29, 2013, at 11:45 p.m. with his family at his side, shortly after being diagnosed in October with acute leukemia. During that time, the hospital was still grappling with rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy and was in close communication with the councilman’s office. Upon learning of Roz’s loss, the hospital and the Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group decided to dedicated the planned space in his memory.

Now the ninth floor waiting area of the hospital’s oncology department is a rotating art space, which will feature new pieces from the artists’ group once or twice a year and be the permanent home of a plaque and photo dedicated to Norman Cohen.

“He was a really good father, a good grandfather, a good husband,” Roz Cohen recalled. “He was very understanding.”

She remembers Norman, who retired after working in the stock market, helping her kids and grandchildren with their homework, as well as his sense of humor.

“He had a very good sense of humor. Very dry,” she said.

Norman and Roz celebrated 56 years of marriage before his passing. He is survived by Roz, his children Sharon and Howard, and five grandchildren, Matthew, Melissa, Jared, Chelsea and Ethan.

Roz has served  in Councilman Recchia’s district office for the last 12 years, as the senior constituent liaison. Friends and local leaders remember Norman as a quiet fixture at her side during community events and gatherings.

“We just want Coney Island Hospital to know how much we appreciate this in the community, but Norman most of all, for all the work that he has done,” said Recchia at the dedication of the exhibit space last week. “Behind the scenes, Norman was the man who made Roz what she is today. And she’s still going strong. Nothing’s holding her down.”

The Brooklyn Streetcar Artists’ Group also maintains a gallery on the second floor of Coney Island Hospital’s main building and can be seen during normal visiting hours.

Mickey Rose (far left) at his wedding to his wife Judith. Woody Allen and actress Louise Lasser pictured on the right. Source:

Mickey Rose and Woody Allen met in an art class at Midwood High School more than 60 years ago, starting a lifelong friendship and collaboration that included some of Woody’s most hilarious films. Rose died over the weekend at the age of 77 from colon cancer, according to a report by The New York Times.

Rose, along with Allen, was one of America’s preeminent comedy writers. For years he wrote jokes for Johnny Carson during his Tonight Show run. Michael Barrie, who worked on Carson’s venerable talk show, which ran for 30 years from 1962 to 1992, said that Rose was “a comedy writer’s comedy writer.”

With Allen, Rose helped write “What’s Up Tiger Lily?” (1966), “Take the Money and Run” (1969) and “Bananas” (1971); all early classics from the era when Allen wasn’t yet known for more cerebral films.

“Mickey was one of the funniest humans I know, a true original and a total eccentric and a wonderful first baseman,” said Allen this week, in a statement released by his biographer.

According to the Times, Rose and Allen remained lifelong friends:

Mr. Allen and Mr. Rose had talked on the phone as often as once a week, and when Mr. Allen visited Beverly Hills he often wandered over to Mr. Rose’s house and knocked on the door.

They conversed several times in the days before Mr. Rose’s death, Quincy Rose said. They talked about sports, old friends and, as the son recalled, an existential question, posed by Mr. Allen: “Are you scared?”

Rose is survived by his daughter Jennifer, son Quincy (named for the Bed-Stuy street he grew up on) and two grandchildren.

Courtesy of Good Shepherd

Monsignor Thomas Brady, the beloved former pastor of Marine Park’s Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church (1943 Brown Street), passed away Monday evening after more than half a century as a man of the cloth.

Brady lost a long battle with an unspecified form of cancer, said Reverend James Devlin, who succeeded Brady in leading the Good Shepherd parish. Brady passed away at approximately 11:00 p.m. Monday. He was 78 years old, and known to be suffering from lung cancer and had been the victim of several strokes.

“He was very beloved. He served. He was always here for people when they needed him,” Devlin said of Brady. “He was the retired pastor when I arrived and I certainly realized how very much loved he was by the people of the parish.”

Serving at the local church for more than 22 years, Brady was known as a committed member of the community, developing outreach programs and strengthening the ties between the church and the larger Marine Park neighborhood.

“In our interactions he was always very, very nice, very hospitable, and very community-minded,” said Councilman Lew Fidler. “He was always looking out for ways that Good Shepherd’s members could benefit from community involvement, and he always made me feel welcome when I came to Good Shepherd.”

He served as principal of the Good Shepherd School in addition to leading the parish. Brady resigned in June of 2009, suffering from increasing health ailments.

But the final years of Brady’s life did not pass in peace. In addition to wrestling with the effects of chemotherapy and strokes, Brady was put on administrative leave in 2011 after two teenage students from the school alleged the respected pastor had attempted “inappropriate sexual contact.” Members of the community rallied around Brady and expressed their disbelief, and a defiant parish dedicated their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony to the embattled monsignor amid the controversy.

Ultimately, a grand jury reviewed the complaints and determined them insufficient to merit a criminal complaint.

After returning from administrative leave, Brady remained as a pastor emeritus at the church until his death on Monday. He is survived by nephews and nieces.

A wake for Monsignor Thomas Brady will be held at Marine Park Funeral Home at 3024 Quentin Road on Monday, April 1, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The funeral home can be reached at (718) 339-8900.

The funeral will be held Tuesday, April 2 at 10:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Little Sisters of the Poor (Queen of Peace Residence). Donations can be made at 10-30 221st Street, Queens Village, NY 11429-2597, or by calling (718) 464-1800.

Correction (March 29, 2013 at 8:10 p.m.): The above article originally stated that Brady had served as the principal of Good Shepherd School. That was inaccurate. He had served as rector-principal of Cathedral Prep Seminary in Elmhurst.

Former NYC Mayor, Edward I. Koch, 1924-2013. Source: adam.luis.amengual / Flickr

Of all the elected officials I have known personally — with the exception of former Congressman Stephen Solarz for whom I once performed an internship during his first term as assemblyman for the 45th Assembly District — I’ve had the most personal contact with our former mayor, Ed Koch.

My First Encounter

It was 1969. One year before my college internship with Solarz. Unsurprisingly, I chose transportation as my topic for a political science school paper at Hunter College, where I did my undergraduate work. I wanted to write about what the federal government was doing to improve mass transit and someone suggested I see the local congressman whose office was located on Second Avenue, in the upper seventies. I was skeptical of obtaining any information because I did not reside in the “silk stocking” district, as the Upper East Side was then called. I was told that the congressman’s name was Ed Koch, a name I had never heard before. I was told he was active in introducing legislation to help mass transit and that’s why I should see him.

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Barry Deustch in His Dr. Sherlock Litter Alter-Ego, Photo Via Facebook

Barry Deutsch, a local Sheepshead Bay man and former Presidential Candidate, passed away last month at the age of 66, according to a report by Brooklyn Daily.

Deutsch, a former lawyer with a Brooklyn-based practice, ran for President of the United States in 1992, receiving 26 votes in the New Hampshire primary. He ran on a platform that railed against the outsourcing of US jobs, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

After his failed bid for Commander-in-Chief, Deutsch carried on his crusade to protect American jobs, creating alter-ego Dr. Sherlock Litter, a bizarre sloganeering pitch-man who managed to star in one video before his untimely death.

According to Brooklyn Daily, Deustch’s living situation was also out of the ordinary. Apparently, Deutsch spent most of his time lounging on a cleaned up spot on the otherwise garbage-strewn Plumb Beach. Deutsch insisted he was not homeless.

“It’s my tax-free summer beach jungle hide-a-way paradise,” Deutsch told Brooklyn Daily. In passing, Deutsch leaves behind his carved out Plumb Beach spot, a cat and three older siblings.


Famed Brooklyn author Sol Yurick passed away at the age of 87 this past Saturday according to the New York Daily News. Yurick is most famous for writing The Warriors, a 1965 novel – and, later, cult move – about a Brooklyn gang viciously battling their way through the borough on their way home to Coney Island.

The movie grew into a huge cult success in years subsequent to its release. earning a 94 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Yurick, born to working class Jewish immigrants in the Bronx in 1925, made Brooklyn his home when he moved to Park Slope in 1958. He worked as a social investigator for the Department of Welfare, observing the rhythms of the streets and underclasses that informed the vibrancy of his writing.

Yurick moved to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens in 1985 where he lived for the rest of his life. He is survived by his wife Adrienne and his daughter Susanna.

Source: Brooklyn Cyclones

Warner Fusselle, the only man to have ever called the play-by-plays for the Brooklyn Cyclones (1904 Surf Avenue), passed away a week shy of what would have been his 12th Opening Day since the inception of the team.

“We are deeply saddened by the news of Warner’s passing,” said Cyclones General Manager Steve Cohen. “There is no one who knew more – or cared more – about baseball in Brooklyn than Warner. His distinctive voice, knowledge and endless passion for the game enriched Brooklyn Cyclones baseball for our players, staff, and fans from day one and his presence will be sorely missed.”

The sports announcer was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and raised in Gainsville, Georgia. He has had a long career in sports radio as well as television. He voiced the show “This Week In Baseball,” and called the plays for the Seton Hall Pirates; the Richmond Braves; the Spartanburg Phillies; and the ABA’s Virgina Squires.

Besides sports, his great passion was music.

The “Fuse,” as he was nicknamed, died on Sunday night from an apparent heart attack at just 68-years-old.

Borough President Marty Markowitz issued the following statement after news broke of Fusselle’s death:

For fans of our beloved Brooklyn Cyclones, the voice of Warner Fusselle has been silenced after 11 years of passionate and knowledgeable play-by-play from the ‘Catbird Seat’ at MCU Park and, before that, Keyspan Park on Coney Island. Fusselle was a native Kentuckian raised in Georgia, but Brooklynites embraced him as one of their own after he became the voice of the Cyclones at their very beginning in 2001. They call me Mr. Brooklyn, but Warner Fusselle was Mr. Baseball here in Brooklyn, and our prayers and condolences go out to the entire Cyclones organization as well as Fusselle’s sister, two nephews and all of his friends and colleagues who are mourning the passing of “The Fuse.”

As the only voice Cyclones’ fans ever knew, his will be a tough act to follow.

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