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Fred Boerum, former Port Jefferson village trustee, dies

Former Port Jefferson Village trustee Fred Boerum, who also served as a school board vice president, has died after a brief illness. He was 75.

Boerum died at his Medford home on Saturday from pancreatic cancer, his daughter, Stacey Perrone of Sound Beach, said Tuesday.

He was remembered for his optimistic spirit and generous service to the North Shore village, first as a Port Jefferson school board member in the 1980s. "He was very personable," Mayor Margot Garant said. "You were always happy to see Fred. He always put a smile on your face."

Boerum was a member of the village planning board in 1999 when he voted to approve Port Jefferson's first fast-food restaurant. A year later, after he was appointed to fill a vacancy on the village board, Boerum joined a unanimous vote to ban fast-food restaurants.

Former Mayor Jeanne Garant said she tapped Boerum for the village board because he had "a broad view" of local issues.

"He was a vibrant member of our community, for sure," said Garant, Margot Garant's mother. "I don't think he had any biases."

Boerum grew up in Oyster Bay and graduated from Oyster Bay High School in 1956. He served in the Army from 1961 to 1963, based at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.

He met his future wife, Karol Steinhaus, while both worked at the Long Island Lighting Co. They married on Nov. 3, 1962.

Perrone said her father worked in public relations and as a financial adviser, holding positions at Grumman Aerospace Corp., Independent Group Home Living and other firms. She said he also volunteered as a coach and coordinator for the village parks and recreation department.

"He was an incredible dad," she said. "He never yelled at us. All he had to do was tell us he was disappointed in us."

She said her mother remembered her husband as "good-natured, sincere and he made the best margaritas."

In addition to his wife and daughter, Boerum is survived by a daughter, Lisa Boerum-Ruhl of East Moriches; two sons, Freddie Boerum of Shoreham and Tom Boerum of Wading River; a sister, Catherine Quatela of Medford, and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by another sister, Mary Jane Witt of Oyster Bay.

A funeral Mass will be said at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Infant Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Port Jefferson. Burial will be at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Port Jefferson.

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