The below FB post was typical of our friend and community advocate, Ira Brickman, of Middle Island. Sadly,and way too soon, Ira passed away on Wednesday after his own private and valiant battle. But, what he said of Robin Williams was also true of him....he too made us laugh. He had a laugh that was deep,sincere, and very contagious.
He also had a strong and constant commitment to community service...Ira served as the Treasurer of ABCO for several years and was the spark that brought the organization into the 21st century. He was the creator of not only the ABCO website, but also the Manor Park Civic site. He shared his knowledge and time freely, and also taught us so much. His constant generosity allowed civic groups for the first time to really communicate with each other and to reach more of the community and a larger audience than just, delivering newsletters or stuffing envelopes or posting flyers.
I first met Ira in 2003, he was a constant fixture in the front row at Brookhaven Town Board meetings, as was I...My curiosity forced me to sit down and introduce myself. I wanted to know what motivated him to do every other week what so many others had neither the time or the even the inclination. What I found was a citizen who cared, a man who believed, as I did , that one person could really make a difference. A deeply compassionate soul, who also believed it wasn't enough to just care... Ira lived the words of Jane Austen, " It isn't WHAT we say or think, that defines us, but what we DO" , We soon we became fast friends and ultimately joined together as co-workers in 'the garden of change.' So when I became president of ABCO, I asked Ira to fill the vacancy left by the departure of Tom Talbot, another hard-working gardener. Many told me his politics were different than ABCO's, really? For me and the others who now serve ABCO...We have no underlying politics....we're all just fellow citizens who care about our town, our government, and the important issues we face, and who stand stand firm in a commitment to work together for the betterment of our communities
Clearly, Ira had already worked for years to bring that kind of meaningful change. He played integral and important role in bringing the Middle Country Road Corridor Study to life, and he worked hard on the original Longwood Alliance....both were instrumental in involving citizens in planning the future of the Coram, Middle Island and Ridge communities.... and for the first time in a very long while that plan was influenced by grassroots community input. Although, the implementation of the plan didn't always live up to Ira's hopes or its own vision, Ira was proud of his work and that of so many others. Nor did he hesitate to take a stand when the communities' vision for the plan failed to see daylight or too often was simply ignored.
Ira was a proponent of solar energy before many even knew what it was or the clean power it promised. Together, Ira worked side by side with ABCO and others to save sensitive and critical environmental areas along the Carmans River and Artist Lake. to create the Overton Preserve and preserve the woodlands along CR 21, Mill Road and Rt. 112.
Needing more time for family, his 1st commitment, Ira left ABCO in 2010. But true to who he was, Ira remained our friend and partner...active on the town's Open Space Advisory Committee, working always to save our rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, farms, forests, bluffs and Pine Barrens. Recently he was chosen to represent his local civic, the Middle Island Civic Association, as their delegate to the Brookhaven Lab Citizens Advisory Committee.
His vision, strength, generosity, compassion, love of family, nature and community will feel the void of his absence and the painful loss of his very personal touch always. He will be deeply missed.
Rest In Peace dear friend and co-gardener.
Visitation JUL 31. 02:00 PM - 07:00 PM
Mangano Funeral Home, Inc - Middle Island
640 Middle Country Rd.
Middle Island, NY, US, 11953