Francis X. Pendl, an ex-Chief of the Bethpage Fire Department, lost his battle with cancer on Thursday, April 1. He was 75 years old.
Francis X. Pendl
Mr. Pendl was an extraordinary human being who was a devoted husband, father to his 12 children and grandfather of 22. One is tempted to say, "Wow, 12 kids, 22 grandchildren - his plate is full, he doesn't have much time for anything else." Not so.
Mr. Pendl was a 50-year active member of the Bethpage Fire Department, serving as chief of department. He also served as assistant chief fire instructor at the Nassau County Fire Service Academy in Old Bethpage. He taught so many firefighters in Nassau that it's impossible to count.
Mr. Pendl was a master at strategy and tactics on the fire ground. He had a way of bringing out the best in people. There are not enough words to describe his value to the firefighters of Nassau County. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Pendl was employed by the Nassau County Fire Commission as a fire marshal and even served as an investigator. Through this position, he was responsible for developing and teaching arson recognition for the county's firefighters.
Mr. Pendl was a member of American Legion Post 86, NYS Fraternal Order of Police, International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Arson Investigators, International Association of Firefighters, the Firefighters Association of NY, the Fire Museum Network, Long Island Antique Fire Apparatus Association. Mr. Pendl was also a member of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Civil War Preservation Trust, the Mount Rushmore Foundation and the Ellis Island Foundation. On a local front, he was a member of the Bethpage Historical Society.
Several years ago, Mr. Pendl was seriously burned while teaching at the fire academy and spent a week in the Burn Unit at Nassau County Medical Center. After his release, he wanted to so something to honor the medical staff who treated him. In addition to becoming a delegate for the burn unit, Mr. Pendl organized the first-ever benefit fund for the burn center and held a police/fire hockey game to raise money for the unit. Benefits are now held annually.
For so many years, Mr. Pendl worked on setting up a firefighter's museum. He felt something had to be done to preserve the history of the volunteer fire services in Nassau County. He wanted to be sure that the efforts of Nassau's volunteers were appreciated and never forgotten. As a result of Mr. Pendl's dedication and determination to the cause, the idea for the Francis X. Pendl Nassau County Museum of Fire Fighting and Education Center was formed and will open by early 2005. The shame of its all is that he won't be there to see it.
Mr. Pendl would always strive to put someone at ease. You could confide in him. When asked, he would give advice. He was a mentor to many, always reminding people, including myself, to smile. If he saw me as I bid him farewell he would have admonished me for not smiling. That will come in time, but for now, I mourn his passing as do many others. Another day when I think of him and all he taught us, his mission to never let his beloved firefighters be forgotten and his infectious smile, I will smile and I hope he sees it.
Rest in peace, Francis. Thanks for everything.
Mr. Pendl is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Jane; and his children: Thomas; Douglas and his wife, Jean; Clifford and his wife, Carol; Richard; Patricia; Mary Jane and her husband, Bob; Priscilla and her husband, Ken; Pamela and her husband, Gary; Stephen and his wife, Mary; Alison and her husband, Jeff; and Kurt and his wife, Amy. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Jane Thompson and sister-in-law Nancy Thompson; brother, A. "Tommy" and his wife, Kay, of Venice, FL; sister-in-law Helen Pendl, wife of his late brother, Joseph; and his 22 grandchildren, Jessica and Tim, Danielle, Jonathon, Danny, Ashley, Ryan, Shane, Nicole, Trisha, Krystina, Taylor, Emma, Bethany, Leah, Christopher, Robert, Tyler, Nicolas, Paige, Jake, Olivia and Hailey.
Department and county services were held at the Arthur F. White Funeral Home in Bethpage and a funeral Mass was at St. Martin of Tours RC Church followed by interment at Pinelawn Memorial Park. Donations in Mr. Pendl's memory can be sent to the Francis X. Pendl Educational Memorial Fund, PO Box 63, Bethpage, NY 11714.
Frank G. Dorsey, resident of New Port Richey, FL, former resident of Hicksville for 26 years, passed away on March 24, 2004 at Hernando-Pasco Hospice after a short illness. He is survived by his wife Evelyn of 60 years; son James of Hicksville; daughters, Maryann Longo of Plainview and Kathleen of Hicksville. He also had 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Frank was a Grand Knight of the Joseph Barry Knights of Columbus in Hicksville for two terms, and 4th Degree member.
Frank will be missed by his family and friends in Hicksville as well as his friend in New Port Richey.