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Burt Reminick, ex-electrical engineer, renaissance man, dies

Burt Reminick died Jan. 31, 2018, of colon

Burt Reminick died Jan. 31, 2018, of colon cancer at his home in Northport. Credit: Reminick family

She was just a kid when he first caught her eye, in his baseball or street hockey uniforms.

He was about 16, she barely a teenager, just two kids in a crowd of a few dozen friends who hung out in front of her apartment building year-round.

This was the early 1960s, back in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, where boys were loud and often immature.

But Burt Reminick, born in the borough in November 1946, was not.

He was soft-spoken, someone who seemed to see life from a different perspective. To say that Joan Diskin, all of 13, was smitten, would be the understatement of understatements.

“I had a crush on him from afar,” she recalled last week. “He was sort of too old . . . But I was like, ‘Oh, my God. That guy is so adorable.’ ”

Burt Reminick died Jan. 31 at his home in Northport after a seven-year battle with colon cancer, surrounded by family. He was 71.

Years after their paths first crossed, Joan, then 16, was attending Lincoln High School in Brooklyn. Other boys liked the Yankees or the Mets, but she knew that Burt, then a City College student, followed the St. Louis Cardinals.

She wasn’t a sports fan, but managed to memorize the team roster. “Lou Brock, Curt Flood, Bob Gibson,” she said. “That catcher, the catcher . . . Tim McCarver.”

That was 1966 and Burt was so impressed that he asked her out. Two years later, the couple got engaged.

In the summer of ’69, “man walked on the moon, it was Woodstock and I married Burt Reminick,” Joan Reminick said.

He graduated from college in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He also received a master’s in industrial management from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute in the early 1970s.

After City College, he went to work as an electrical engineer at Hazeltine Corp. in Greenlawn.

Then, in the early 1970s, he went on to design computer programs, first for the New York City Human Resources Administration and later for the city Office of Child Support Enforcement.

His wife became a teacher at Farmingdale High School and then, for about 25 years, worked as a food writer and restaurant critic for Newsday.

The couple raised two children, Alison and David.

Burt Reminick’s family remembered him as a dedicated father who thought it most important to be home at night for dinner with them, a man who helped with homework and rarely lost his temper.

“His family was so important to him,” Joan Reminick said of her husband, adding: “I knew he was the one from when I first saw him. I can’t begin to think of life without him.”

Friends recalled Reminick as a man of many interests, all undertaken from his particular point of view.

He played baseball, hardball, into his 50s. He played banjo, listened to bluegrass music, fell hard for the sport of curling and was an accomplished wildlife and scenic photographer. His vivid photos were displayed in art galleries in Northport and Great Neck, online and in a rotation of photographers sponsored by the Town of Oyster Bay.

He also skied. “Slowly,” his longtime friend, Mark Cohen, said last week from his home in Monterey, Massachusetts.

David Reminick, a composer, of Chicago, recalled how his father donned a cowboy hat while skiing, leading Cohen to dub him “Cowboy Burt.”

Former Newsday editorial writer Larry Levy, now an executive dean at Hofstra University, played with Burt Reminick on the Massapequa Marlins, a men’s senior baseball league team for players 40 and older.

“He was a great teammate,’’ Levy said. “It wasn’t only because he loved the sport, but his sweet nature and calm demeanor.”

Alison Reminick, a psychiatrist, of San Diego, said her father found joy in simple things. “Fish in a koi pond, playing banjo, taking pictures of pelicans . . . He took joy out of being here, so much so that at the end he just didn’t want to leave, he loved life so much.”

Burt Reminick is also survived by his mother, Judith, and four grandchildren.

Services were Sunday at Star of David Memorial Chapel in West Babylon. He was buried at New Montefiore Cemetery in West Babylon.

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