Obituaries

Charles R. Thomas died from natural causes on February 18, 2007 at North Shore University Hospital Plainview.

Charles, who was known as "Boz" (a pen name of Charles Dickens, favorite author of Beatrix Maude Rafter Thomas, Charles' mother) to his family and "Buzz" to his friends, hails from Port Washington where he was raised at 10 Bernard Street, a house built by his grandmother Lily Pratt Deurden Thomas when she relocated from Pleasantville, NY, to Port Washington after the death of her husband, Charles G.W. Thomas, in 1908. His father, Richard, died in 1928. Richard and Beatrix met "across the back fence" as the Rafters lived on Vandeventer Avenue at the time. Buzz graduated from Port Washington Schools in 1939 and immediately began a career with Grumman Aircraft, which prior to WW II was located in Manorhaven. Buzz honed his sailing and golfing skills as a youth at the Knickerbocker Yacht Club and the Plandome Golf Club. He remained an active golfer all his life but gave up sailing for powerboats after an accident with an errant Grumman seaplane in the 1940s. Buzz also remained with Grumman Aircraft for his entire career, involved in the design and manufacture of tools and dies for a number of Grumman planes and the Lunar Excursion Module in the 1960s. He developed an expertise in the use of then-radical plastics for dies. In 1942 he married Irma Gloria Suner, who died in August 2006.

Following service in WWII, the Thomases settled in Farmingdale, where Irma and Buzz involved themselves in numerous volunteer activities for school, charities of many sorts, and especially at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church where he served on the Vestry a number of times and conducted numerous every-member canvasses. Buzz and Irma also enjoyed gardening and bridge, and after his retirement in 1985, traveling to various golf resorts often with the Grumman retirees club.

Buzz is survived by his sister, Frances Maude Carter of West Islip, a son Richard S. Thomas of New Canaan, CT, and grandson Christopher G. Thomas, PhD of Washington, DC.

Arrangements were made by the Arthur F. White Funeral Home, Farmingdale. Service at St. Thomas' Episcopal Church. Burial at Kensico Cemetery, Valhalla, NY, was private.

Chet Halperin

Chet Halperin, a marketing executive, sadly and unexpectedly died at age 52, on Feb. 20, 2007 after suffering a fatal heart attack while vacationing in Boca Raton with his wife and son. He was born on Jan. 8, 1955.

Halperin was deeply loved by his wife Laura, son Zachary, mother Rhoda, brother Barry and sister-in-law Ellen, mother-in-law Anne Benzoni, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Drew and Liz, Dana and Steve, and Linda and Sandro, and nieces and nephews Jason, Serena, Nicole, Lauren, Jaclyn, Matthew, Bobby, Andrea, Phillip, and Andrew. His family and friends adored him for his kindness, generosity, zest for life, sense of humor, and intelligence. He loved spending time with family and friends, sports, politics, road trips to Montauk, playing tennis, jogging, and backyard barbecues.

Halperin, brand director of marketing for CoreBrand of Stamford, CT, had an extensive career in strategic sales, marketing, and traditional advertising. He had also worked within strategic marketing at BuzzCompany, a Silicon Alley collaboration software firm, and consulted for emerging companies within Jerusalem Venture Partners, a $650 million global venture capital firm.

In addition, Halperin, a graduate of SUNY New Paltz, was the associate producer of two feature films, Grim Prairie Tales and Good Luck. He produced the video tribute SixtySomething and authored the Long Island restaurant guide Good Eats. Halperin also launched the gift and invitation store, Paperie, in Roslyn Village.

A well-loved baseball and basketball coach for Port Washington Youth Activities (PYA) and Catholic Youth Organization (CYO), Halperin was well known in the community for his involvement with local sports leagues. As eulogized by his nephew Jason, Halperin was a role model to many, and a man whose contributions to the world should not be measured by how many years he lived, but by how many lives he touched.

James J. Cronin, aka Jolly Jim, passed away on Feb. 25, 2007 at St. Francis Hospital at the age of 87. He is survived by wife Dorie; sons Michael, Peter, Kevin and James; and eight grandchildren.

James retired from IBM after 30 years of service and was a member of the Manhasset Bay Sportsman's Club.

His body has been donated to the Stony Brook Medical Research Center.


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