It was with great sadness that the Brewster Fire Department announced the loss of Life Member John LaGuardia who passed away on November 4,2021. John was a fifty-seven year member of the department. He was a longtime member of Fire Attack Company 3. He also served two years as a Lieutenant in that Company. A Full Dress Funeral was held On Wednesday, November 10th at St. Lawrence Church. Afterwards, the procession went past the Brewster Fire Department headquarters so he could answer his final alarm.
John was an avid fisherman and outdoors-man. One of the many things he did was to cook hotdogs for our annual parade. He also spent Mondays cleaning the firehouse. You could tell he was there by the smell of Clorox or ammonia. He mentored many of the members during his Monday cleanings. Many times he was asked about his successful marriage of over sixty years to his wife Lucy. His advice: "Never, never go to bed angry, never." John also had a reputation for painting houses in Brewster. He was frequently seen climbing ladders as well. The following is one of my favorite stories about John.
One day he was up on a ladder painting a house and the phone rang. Ever the helpful person, he came down the ladder to answer the phone since no one was home.. When he got to the phone it had stopped ringing. He climbed up the ladder again and when he got to the top, the phone started ringing again. He came down again to answer the phone but the ringing stopped as soon as he entered the house.. He waited a few minutes in vain in case the person called back. He went back up the ladder again. When he got to the top of the ladder, the ringing began again. John started looking around to see who was playing games with him. It was not a person. It was a bird! Whenever he climbed the ladder, the bird (a mocking bird ?), made the sound of a phone ringing! When he got off the ladder, the bird stopped making the ringing sound!
John was kind, helpful, gentle person who will be greatly missed.