The Venetian Shores football field where Lindenhurst children play and cheer was renamed this past weekend after the resident who helped bring it into existence.
Bobby Brandenberger, a lifelong Lindenhurst resident who advocated for and secured the field for Lindenhurst’s Football and Cheerleading League was posthumously honored Sunday by the Town of Babylon. Officials from the town, the Village of Lindenhurst and the Lindenhurst School District, members of the Lindenhurst Fire Department and several dozen friends and family members gathered to celebrate the renaming of the field to the Bobby Brandenberger Memorial Field.
Brandenberger passed away Easter Sunday 2020. He was 62.
A community fixture before he even graduated Lindenhurst High School in 1975, Brandenberger served in the Lindenhurst Fire Department for over 40 years, earning captain’s bars, worked as school board trustee for more than a decade, a baseball coach for the Lindenhurst National Little League and president of the Lindenhurst Football and Cheerleading League.
The field that now bears his name is one of his most visible contributions to his hometown.
Brandenberger advocated for a new football field, reaching an accord with municipalities in 1994, securing a practice and home game field for Lindenhurst’s young football and soccer stars. It was later created in 2003 and recently renovated by the town.
memories from the 50-yard line
Brandenberger’s wife, Susan, and three of their children, Raymond, Carinne and Courtney, were seated in the front row on the field, wearing matching jerseys made special for the commemoration.
“He would be beside himself,” Carinne said of her father if he were there for the field renaming. “He bled green and white. He wanted this to be a place for the kids to have because he cared about them.”
“He would probably cry for the first time,” Billy DesJardin, a lifelong friend of Brandenberger’s and fellow firefighter, added.
DesJardin described his friend as someone who “treated everybody like they were his family.”
Robert Pflug, another lifelong firefighter said Brandenberger was fearless. “He was crazy,” Pflug said. “He always had your back.”
Village of Lindenhurst Mayor Michael Lavorata remembers Brandenberger as “his body guard,” defending him as fire captain. He also remembers his sense of humor fondly throughout their 30-plus-year friendship.
“He was one of the funniest guys,” Lavorata said. “He’d make you laugh but he’d say things with a straight face so sometimes you wouldn’t know if he was kidding.”
Town of Babylon Supervisor Rich Schaffer shared how he views Brandenberger’s legacy in his community.
“You can see his impact in the turf, you can touch it,” Schaffer said. “I measure his impact by the number of people he touched and the lives he saved.”