The Venetian Shores football ground, where the children of Lindenhurst play and cheer, was renamed last weekend in honor of the resident who helped create it.
Bobby Brandenberger, a longtime Lindenhurst resident who defended and secured the Lindenhurst Football and Cheerleading League ground was honored posthumously on Sunday by the City of Babylon. Officials from the Town, Village of Lindenhurst and Lindenhurst School District, members of the Lindenhurst Fire Department and several dozen friends and family gathered to celebrate the name change of the land to Bobby Brandenberger Memorial Ground.
Brandenberger passed away on Easter Sunday 2020. He was 62 years old.
A part of the community even before graduating from Lindenhurst High School in 1975, Brandenberger served in the Lindenhurst Fire Department for over 40 years, earning Captain’s Bars, working as an administrator of the school board for over a decade, baseball coach for the Lindenhurst National Little League and president of the Lindenhurst Football and Cheerleading League.
The estate that now bears his name is one of his most visible contributions to his hometown.
Brandenberger pleaded for a new football pitch, making a deal with the municipalities in 1994, guaranteeing a home training and playing field for young football and football stars from Lindenhurst. It was then created in 2003 and recently renovated by the city.
memories of the 50-meter line
Brandenberger’s wife, Susan, and three of their children, Raymond, Carinne and Courtney, sat in the front row on the field, dressed in matching shirts specially designed for the commemoration.
“He would be beside himself,” Carinne said of his father if he was there for the field’s renaming. “He was bleeding green and white. He wanted it to be a place for the kids because he cared about them.
“He would probably cry for the first time,” added Billy DesJardin, a longtime friend of Brandenberger and fellow firefighter.
DesJardin described his friend as someone who “treated everyone like family”.
Robert Pflug, another longtime firefighter, said Brandenberger was fearless. “He was crazy,” Pflug said. “He always supported you. “
The mayor of Lindenhurst village, Michael Lavorata, remembers Brandenberger as “his bodyguard”, defending him as fire captain. He also remembers her sense of humor throughout their 30-plus-year friendship.
“He was one of the funniest guys,” Lavorata said. “He made you laugh but he said things with a straight face, so sometimes you wouldn’t know if he was joking.”
Babylon City Supervisor Rich Schaffer explained how he views Brandenberger’s legacy in his community.
“You can see its impact in the turf, you can touch it,” Schaffer said. “I measure his impact by the number of people he touched and the lives he saved.”