Joseph (Joe) Henry Dreyer Jr. rose from accountant to vice president...

Joseph (Joe) Henry Dreyer Jr. rose from accountant to vice president of the New York Islanders. Credit: Dreyer Family

He was just “Joe” to anyone who knew him. In his final days, Joseph Henry Dreyer Jr. let those who loved him know that he'd had a great life, with no regrets, his family said. Dreyer died on Sunday, after battling kidney failure for five years. He was 83.

Dreyer was born on March 25, 1941, in Jamaica, Queens. In 1954, he moved to Bellmore and began a lifetime love affair with Long Island that included playing a key role in the New York Islanders organization.

He met his future wife, Julia (Judy), in 1961, at a cousin's birthday party in Freeport. After marrying, the couple moved to West Islip where they raised four children and lived for 55 years.

“Dad was a great family man,” said his son, Joseph Dreyer III. “He would always say, 'Your father is your best friend' and he would joke that if you wound up in jail, he would always come to bail you out.

“Dad always made sure we had money in our pocket, gas in our cars, and air in our tires. That was one of his ways to tell us he loved us,” said Dreyer's youngest daughter, Amy Kuchler.

Dreyer graduated from Hofstra University in 1970 with a degree in accounting and, soon after, worked at his alma mater as an accountant. In 1972, he was recruited by the Islanders to be their staff accountant. As the Islanders organization grew, Dreyer's career did too. He eventually became the vice president of administration for the four-time Stanley Cup-winning franchise. In addition to managing finances, Dreyer's contributions to the organization included planning and overseeing the addition of Nassau Coliseum’s luxury suites, planning and managing its first retail store, and developing and implementing team promotions.

“He loved being part of a ground floor opportunity — meeting and socializing with the business owners and Islander fans,” said Dreyer III, adding that his father also served on the board of the Salvation Army. “He loved Long Island, and was proud to be part of putting it on the map with his Islanders.”

After more than 20 years with the Islanders, Dreyer moved to a new role as assistant treasurer for Suffolk County Community College. Dreyer fundraised more than $10 million for the college during his 15 years with SCCC.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter was a lifetime family friend of Dreyer and his wife, who were grade school classmates.

"We met in 1962 and he was just so congenial and very hardworking. Joe and Judy were a very devoted couple who cherished their family and grandchildren," said Carpenter, who also became the Dreyers' West Islip neighbor. "I remember Joe as someone who cared so much about his family and his community. His work ethic was unparalleled; he threw his heart into everything he did."

A proponent of SCCC, in the mid-1990s Carpenter, who was then in the County Legislature, recommended that Dreyer apply for the assistant treasurer position at the community college.

"He established so much for the college, not only with fundraisers, but he raised awareness for SCCC. He developed a sense of the college and what a great institution it could be," said Carpenter.

When Dreyer and his wife weren't traveling the world, they spent summers at their vacation home at Brant Lake in the Adirondacks. He collected Lionel trains, and liked working with his hands and taking care of his home and yard. Living on the Island, Dreyer developed a love of the water and enjoyed fishing, boating, and water skiing in the canals in Bellmore.

After beating cancer four times in his 50s, Dreyer retired from SCCC at the age of 70. According to his family, Dreyer wanted to be remembered as a humble, hard worker who always took care of his family and others in need.

“He spent his retirement giving back, volunteering his time to the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity,” said Dreyer III. “He enjoyed repairing old bicycles and donating them to underprivileged children and helped collect donations outside of stores during the holiday season.”

In addition to his son and youngest daughter, Dreyer is survived by his wife, Judy, daughters Judi Soro and Debbie Weber, eight grandchildren, and sister, Joan Schulte.

Services will be Friday from 5-8 p.m. at Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in West Islip.

He was just “Joe” to anyone who knew him. In his final days, Joseph Henry Dreyer Jr. let those who loved him know that he'd had a great life, with no regrets, his family said. Dreyer died on Sunday, after battling kidney failure for five years. He was 83.

Dreyer was born on March 25, 1941, in Jamaica, Queens. In 1954, he moved to Bellmore and began a lifetime love affair with Long Island that included playing a key role in the New York Islanders organization.

He met his future wife, Julia (Judy), in 1961, at a cousin's birthday party in Freeport. After marrying, the couple moved to West Islip where they raised four children and lived for 55 years.

“Dad was a great family man,” said his son, Joseph Dreyer III. “He would always say, 'Your father is your best friend' and he would joke that if you wound up in jail, he would always come to bail you out.

“Dad always made sure we had money in our pocket, gas in our cars, and air in our tires. That was one of his ways to tell us he loved us,” said Dreyer's youngest daughter, Amy Kuchler.

Dreyer graduated from Hofstra University in 1970 with a degree in accounting and, soon after, worked at his alma mater as an accountant. In 1972, he was recruited by the Islanders to be their staff accountant. As the Islanders organization grew, Dreyer's career did too. He eventually became the vice president of administration for the four-time Stanley Cup-winning franchise. In addition to managing finances, Dreyer's contributions to the organization included planning and overseeing the addition of Nassau Coliseum’s luxury suites, planning and managing its first retail store, and developing and implementing team promotions.

“He loved being part of a ground floor opportunity — meeting and socializing with the business owners and Islander fans,” said Dreyer III, adding that his father also served on the board of the Salvation Army. “He loved Long Island, and was proud to be part of putting it on the map with his Islanders.”

After more than 20 years with the Islanders, Dreyer moved to a new role as assistant treasurer for Suffolk County Community College. Dreyer fundraised more than $10 million for the college during his 15 years with SCCC.

Islip Town Supervisor Angie Carpenter was a lifetime family friend of Dreyer and his wife, who were grade school classmates.

"We met in 1962 and he was just so congenial and very hardworking. Joe and Judy were a very devoted couple who cherished their family and grandchildren," said Carpenter, who also became the Dreyers' West Islip neighbor. "I remember Joe as someone who cared so much about his family and his community. His work ethic was unparalleled; he threw his heart into everything he did."

A proponent of SCCC, in the mid-1990s Carpenter, who was then in the County Legislature, recommended that Dreyer apply for the assistant treasurer position at the community college.

"He established so much for the college, not only with fundraisers, but he raised awareness for SCCC. He developed a sense of the college and what a great institution it could be," said Carpenter.

When Dreyer and his wife weren't traveling the world, they spent summers at their vacation home at Brant Lake in the Adirondacks. He collected Lionel trains, and liked working with his hands and taking care of his home and yard. Living on the Island, Dreyer developed a love of the water and enjoyed fishing, boating, and water skiing in the canals in Bellmore.

After beating cancer four times in his 50s, Dreyer retired from SCCC at the age of 70. According to his family, Dreyer wanted to be remembered as a humble, hard worker who always took care of his family and others in need.

“He spent his retirement giving back, volunteering his time to the Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity,” said Dreyer III. “He enjoyed repairing old bicycles and donating them to underprivileged children and helped collect donations outside of stores during the holiday season.”

In addition to his son and youngest daughter, Dreyer is survived by his wife, Judy, daughters Judi Soro and Debbie Weber, eight grandchildren, and sister, Joan Schulte.

Services will be Friday from 5-8 p.m. at Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home in West Islip.

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From new rides at Adventureland to Long Island's best seafood restaurants to must-see summer concerts, here's your inside look at Newsday's summer Fun Book. Credit: Newsday Staff

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