At Chamber Park in Mahopac, just steps away from Lake Mahopac, there is a new bench honoring Howard “ Howie “ Beyersky.
The Beyersky Memorial Bench was dedicated last week to the long-time street maintenance worker for the Town of Carmel whose warm nature and friendly smile was known to everyone in the neighborhood. Beyersky died on Sept. 9 at the age of 53.
Unveiling the bench was Town of Carmel Supervisor Ken Schmitt, who shared fond memories of Beyersky with about 50 others who attended the ceremony.
“Thank you, Howie,” Schmitt said as he uncovered the bench. “For all the years you gave us.”
Schmitt recalled how Beyersky “never left a piece of litter on the ground, he’d pick it all up, one by one.”
Just after Beyersky died, Schmitt said he was overwhelmed with more than 100 messages on Facebook suggesting some kind of memorial should be created to honor Beyersky. “They remembered what a nice, sweet person he was. That gave us the idea of putting a bench near where he used to work,” he said.
Schmitt thanked the many Mahopac businesses that helped construct and design the bench, along with town staffers who helped select the site for the bench. As he lifted the blue tarp to reveal the bench, Schmitt was joined by Beyersky’s mother, Muriel Beyersky, Howie’s sister, Ilene Dillon, his cousin Dorothy Pottberg and long-time friend Dorothy Higgins.
Near the bench was a large picture of Beyersky donned in his bright orange street jacket holding a broom and dustpan. An emotional Muriel Beyersky told the small crowd, “Thank you. I love you all.”
The community came to know him as “Howie” and he became a familiar figure always sweeping up litter. Truck drivers would beep their horns, local merchants looked out for him as he meticulously picked up every scrap he could spot. He started his day outside the Crossroads Deli near Route 6 and worked in and around the area.
Pottberg remembered Howie as a youngster. “He was always a friendly person and I remember all the gifts he gave me,” she said.
Higgins also had fond memories of her life-long friend. “Growing up everyone called Howie the ‘mayor of the block,’” she said. “He was so gracious and always had a smile.”
“I would come by and have him sit with me in the car to keep warm when it was cold out,” Schmitt recalled. “All the neighboring merchants used to invite Howie inside. He worked 12 months a year no matter the weather. He had a job to do.”
Abby is a local journalist who has reported on breaking news for more than 20 years. She currently covers community issues in The Examiner as a full-time reporter and has written for the paper since its inception in 2007. Read more from Abby’s editor-author bio here. Read Abbys’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/ab-lub2019/