Frank A. Krayer had some rules about the ocean: Never turn your back to the unpredictable waters. Read the surface of the ocean - it'll tell you where there's danger. And if you've done one rescue, that's one too many.
Krayer was a longtime lifeguard at the Silver Point Beach Club in Atlantic Beach whose life revolved around the sea. He died on May 28 of cancer at 87.
A beach side memorial service will be held at the Silver Point Beach Club Sunday at 3 p.m.
Krayer was born June 15, 1922, in Paterson, N.J., and grew up in Far Rockaway, where during summers his family lived in tents on the beach that they rented, said his daughter, Diane Krayer of Hackettstown, N.J.
Before he had a surfboard, Frank Krayer would use an ironing board to ride the waves, she said.
"He was very passionate about the ocean and surfing," she said.
Krayer enlisted in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps while a student at Bowling Green University and attended classes at Harvard and Princeton before earning a degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts in 1948, Diane Krayer said.
He and his wife, Claire, whom he met while both were students at Bowling Green, moved to Roosevelt before settling in Wantagh after he got a job teaching physical education at Howell Road Elementary School in Valley Stream.
Frank Krayer also was chief lifeguard at the beach club, where he worked from 1955 until retiring in 2002. He could often be seen wearing a naval captain's hat while working.
"Most of the members know him through that hat on the beach," said his son, Frank Kenneth "Ken" Krayer of East Meadow.
Ken Krayer has since taken over his father's role at the beach club, becoming chief lifeguard himself after his father retired. He said his father taught him a great deal about lifeguarding - knowledge that he passes on to new lifeguards.
"One of the things my dad taught me that I try to preach in all of my lifeguard training: The best lifeguards hardly ever get wet. You practice preventative lifeguarding," Ken Krayer said. "Frank always said if you have more than one rescue, you're doing something wrong."
In addition to his son and daughter, survivors include his second wife, Louise Krayer of Brandon, Fla., and grandchildren Jessica Jayne of Eugene, Ore., and Frank John Krayer and Val Kyrie Krayer of East Meadow. He was predeceased by his wife Claire and a sister.