Edward R. Shiebler Jr., the longtime public face of Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, died on May 28 at his home in Laguna Niguel, California. He was 86.
"He was the kind of guy who smiled at everybody. There was no such thing as a stranger to him," said his daughter, Amy Shiebler David of Laguna Niguel.
After growing up in Rockville Centre and graduating from St. John's University, Shiebler became a reporter and sports columnist for the Nassau Daily Review in 1949.
Shiebler was drafted in 1951, and the Army recognized his writing talent. He spent the next two years as an assistant public information officer, stationed on Governors Island in New York Harbor.
From 1953 to 1958, he directed public relations for Community Counseling Service in Manhattan, where he also raised money for nonprofits.
He and his younger brother, Richard, later opened a public relations firm, Poor Richard Associates, in Babylon. His gifts for writing and fundraising also led him to Good Samaritan, where Shiebler, affectionately called "Mr. Good Sam," managed public relations and fundraising events for almost 40 years. He retired in 1996 as assistant to the president for external affairs, the family said.
Shiebler met his future wife, Sally Joy Abbott, in 1955 and later wrote, "It was love at first sight -- at least for me."
The couple married after a couple of years, and later settled in Babylon, where he would serve as commodore of the Babylon Yacht Club. They lived in the village for 37 years before joining their children and grandchildren in Southern California.
David saluted her father for giving her the confidence to become a strong woman.
"When I was a little girl, he said, 'You can do anything your brothers can,' " she recalled.
In addition to his wife and daughter, he is survived by two sisters, Audrey Shiebler Clarkin of Larchmont and Peggy Shiebler Schrider of Fort Walton Beach, Florida.; one brother, Stephen Shiebler of Riverside; sons David and Timothy, both of Laguna Niguel, and Christopher of Rancho Santa Margarita, California; and five grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Monday at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Laguna Niguel.