Obituaries – 12/17 – 3/18 2018
Remembering Longtime Teacher Edward Burggraf, 88
Edward J Burggraf, a beloved teacher in the Irvington School District, died peacefully on December 24, 2017. He was 88.
A celebration memorial, open to all who loved Mr. Burggraf, is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, from 1-4 p.m. at the Washington Irving Boat Club in Tarrytown. Please bring mementos and stories to share.
“Mr. B,” as he was affectionately known by his students, was a fun and unique teacher at Dows Lane Elementary School from 1973-96. He taught by providing a playful, exploratory and relatively unstructured learning environment where students were encouraged to tell him what they were interested in; then design an experiment or investigation, proceed with self-inquiry and finally write in their journal and share what you had learned. He had a huge impact on many students.
Mr. Burggraf never had any kids, and Julie, his wife, predeceased him by a few decades as she had early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Although battling chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other ailments, Mr. Burggraf was always happy and active until his 88th year. His health deteriorated quickly, brought on by a fall in November 2017, and his death was not widely known by many, as he never drew attention to himself. He would not have liked people to dote on him and asked that he have no ceremony, memorial or funeral. However, as a testament to Mr. Burggraf, some quotes were posted about him on Facebook:
“I had him for both kindergarten and third grade, and he was a family friend who taught all my siblings. He gave me learn-to-read books before I entered kindergarten, and I have since used those to teach my three kids to read. With every story, I would think of him. It’s a long way from here to Irvington but if there’s a way I can make it, I will. Otherwise, I’ll be there in spirit.” – Deborah Uman
“He’d say “Get it?” So, you could say “Got it,” and then he’d say “Good!” – we had a lot of fun with that learning times tables! – Carl F. Chesna
“I still remember everything about his kindergarten classroom, I can picture it with the hollowed-out TV and other fun oddities and the Spaghetti Road. I also had him for third grade math and had seen him at a few events over the past couple of years, and he always had a twinkle in his eye.” – Jennifer Atlas Bruch
“He really gave us a lot of freedom to experiment and explore. I remember producing stop action claymation videos, playing Beatles records, establishing the Elect Jimmy Carter Headquarters for Dows Lane and always writing a one-page journal every day. Also remember going out on his boat on the Hudson, collecting water samples and then viewing them under microscope in our makeshift lab in the closet.” – Erik Oley
“He was an amazing teacher. I have such great memories of kindergarten with him…the boat, the bunny and that great head of hair.” – Michael Cox
“My mom likes to tell the story that he recognized that I needed more structure to the day and had me organize his desk, books, etc. I loved it. Win/win for everyone.” – Jenny Atwater
“Great teacher! I remember how he always gave you a times table question before you left his classroom.” – Sue Pesick-Pierro
“He touched not only the minds of many but their hearts as well. He was an amazing man and teacher.” – Barbara Wilt Beckmann
Mr. Burggraf was an avid sailor, and ballroom dancer. He was in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) and served in the Korean War. A fact unknown to many is that as a very young man in his early teens, he left an unhappy home in Indiana, rode the rails looking for work, and eventually settled in California. If not for the kindness of strangers, churches and libraries where he took shelter, he said that he would have frozen and starved to death. As such, he developed a kind heart for the rejected and downtrodden. After a very stark beginning to life, he found a way to change the lives of many kids in profound acts of kindness and understanding.
John Posca, 82
John F. Posca, formerly of East Irvington, died March 14. He was 82.
He was born at home in a caretaker’s cottage at Lyndhurst on August 28, 1935 to Anthony and Clara (Tino) Posca. He was raised in East Irvington and graduated from Irvington High School. After high school he served in the U.S. Army. During his time in the Army he met the love of his life, Nancy Carter in Baltimore, Maryland. Once out of the military, he went back to work at the family business, Posca Service Center in Tarrytown, where he remained until retiring in 2006.
Julio Negron, 77
Julio E. Negron, a resident of Sleepy Hollow, died March 18. He was 77.
He was born in Villalba, Puerto Rico. He was a retired landscaper with Greenrock Corp. in Pocantico Hills for 42 years, retiring in 2014. He is survived by his devoted wife, Eva Negron of Sleepy Hollow, his loving children, Julio (Antonio) Negron of Sleepy Hollow, and Enrique and Daniel Negron and Carmen Matos, all of Ossining, five sisters, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Roger Bucci, 83
Roger “Kisa” Bucci, a lifelong Tarrytown resident, died March 20. He was 83.
Mr. Bucci enjoyed morning golf at Mohansic with family. He was a faithful fan of all his grandchildren’s activities. He is survived by his children Karen, Roger, Jr. and Jeff, nine grandchildren, two great- grandchildren and his pal Riley. He was one of a kind who will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.
David Lingardo, 77
David Lingardo, a lifelong resident of North Tarrytown, died March 21. He was 77.
He was born in North Tarrytown. On November 17, 1961, he married Mary Katherine “Kay” Brideau in St. Teresa’s Church in North Tarrytown. Mr. Lingardo had been a police officer in Eastchester for 20 years. After his retirement he went to work for Robert Martin Company, later Mack Calli. He and his wife retired to Port Charlotte, Florida and recently moved back to be near their family.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus St. Elmo Council #318 where he was a 4th Degree Knight. He was also a member of the Eastchester PBA and he was a founding member of the North Tarrytown Girls Softball League.