Fred Epstein, 69, Prominent Physician and Ocean Beach Resident
Dr. Fred Epstein, a world famous pediatric neurosurgeon renowned for overturning death sentences for countless children with his procedure that removes benign spinal tumors, died July 12. He was 68 and a lifelong resident of Ocean Beach. The cause was melanoma. He died at his home in Greenwich, Conn. When he passed away he was still recovering from neurological damage suffered in a 2001 bicycle accident. He was a gifted athlete who rode his bike every day, but the coma took weeks from his life and cut his career short. In 1996 Epstein founded the Hymen-Newman Institute for Neurology and Neurosurgery (INN) at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, which was dedicated to serving the psychological and emotional needs of families while treating kids who had terminal neurological disorders.

Mary Violet Hegarty Dunworth, 89
Mary Dunworth, a longtime Fire Island resident and beloved member of the Summer Club community since 1943, died last Thursday, June 22, at her family house on West Walk. She turned 89 this month and spent the off-season in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The cause was heart disease. She died peacefully, “in the place she considered home.” Dunworth, who friends and family knew as Violet, will be remembered most of all for her buoyant optimism and love for people, said her oldest daughter, Mary Violet Frayne, in an interview. “She would say, ‘You don’t know what kind of sadness people have in their life and how they need cheering.’”

Memorial: Grovites Remember Maggie McCorkle
On the crisp morning of December 3, many Grovites turned out at the Quaker Friends Meeting House, on Rutherford Place, off East 15th Street, in Manhattan, to celebrate the life and honor the memory of beloved Grove citizen and thespian Margaret (Maggie) Olwen McCorkle (February 20, 1924-October 15, 2005). Thom “Panzi” Hansen, moderating the memorial program in full drag, called Maggie the “heart and soul of Cherry Grove” and compared the Grove without her to “Paris without the Eiffel Tower.” On first meeting her, Panzi said, “Maggie immediately became very special to my heart.” Styling her “my mentor,” “who changed my life,” Panzi declared, “Maggie, to me, is a saint.”

OB Loses Cherished Original: The Elegant Adele Wingate
Adele Wingate, an adored and active member of the Ocean Beach community, died Aug. 5 at NYU Hospital. She was 78. The cause was breast cancer, said her husband, Bill Wingate, a trustee of the village of Ocean Beach. She is survived by Bill; a daughter, Susan; her stepdaughter, Jeri; and Daniel, a grandchild. She was diagnosed with the disease nine years ago, and throughout it all, said her husband, “She never mentioned it, always changed the subject, always wanted to talk about something light and happy and forward looking.”

Anne Bancroft, a Lonelyville Regular, Remembered
Anne Bancroft was best known for the vivacious, expressive qualities she brought to the seductive Mrs. Robinson and a myriad of other roles on stage and film, but few of her fans know about the private life she led here on Fire Island. In fact, she and her husband, comedian Mel Brooks, bought a house in Lonelyville more than 30 years ago and used to vacation there whenever they could. She often brought her family out, and even bought a house behind hers for her younger sister Phyllis and her four kids. Her older sister, Joanne, was seen with the group in the summer and spring as well.

Bill Seay, Artist and FI Original, Remembered
Bill Seay, a painter and illustrator whose whimsical lines and bold, beachy colors captured Fire Island’s unique spirit, died on January 7 at his home in Greenlawn, Long Island. He was 83. Seay’s art was best known to some from the front page of this publication—his big-eyed and wily cats, dogs and deer prowled the covers week after week for more than a decade. He also hand-drew the distinctively tapered, buoyant lettering that graces the titles of many of the paper’s community columns.


Fair Harbor
Robins Rest
Ocean Beach
Point O'Woods