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Lincoln Kliman, engineer who played furry characters, dead

Lincoln W. Kliman was an engineer who helped

Lincoln W. Kliman was an engineer who helped design home and business security alarm systems to keep people safe and saved lives as a volunteer EMT in Smithtown. Kliman, 55, died of cancer on May 28, 2016. Credit: Kliman family

By day, Lincoln W. Kliman was an engineer who helped design home and business security alarm systems to keep people safe — and he saved lives as a volunteer EMT in Smithtown.

But to friends and family, Kliman might have been most at ease as JBadger, a science-fiction convention “fursuiter” who donned “furry character outfits” to entertain audiences as Chef Sam the wolf, honey badger Nom Crunch or even as a costume-clad “zonkey” — that is, a part-zebra part-donkey named Sherbert.

A native of Glen Head and a longtime resident of Smithtown, where he was a volunteer EMT with the Smithtown Fire Department and named Firefighter of the Year in 1990, Lincoln Widgoff Kliman died of cancer May 28 while listening to “The Sound of Music” at the home of his brother Arthur Kliman in Epping, New Hampshire.

He was 55.

Lincoln Kliman, a onetime Newsday delivery boy, was born Nov. 21, 1960, graduated from North Shore High School in 1979 and Stony Brook University in 1983, and took courses toward a master’s of science in electrical engineering from Northeastern University, but did not graduate, his brother, Arthur Kliman, said.

Lincoln Kliman was in on the ground floor of state-of-the-art security system design, starting his engineering career at Telesignal, which later was purchased by Fire Burglary Instrument — and, eventually, the security system giant, Honeywell, Arthur Kliman said.

Records show Lincoln Kliman filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office in April 2012 to protect the “system and method of user code synchronization” with Z-wave lock doors. “Today,” Arthur Kliman said, “if you walk into a home or business and see a security system on the wall, you can be almost certain Lincoln had something to do with it.”

And, in more than 25 years as a volunteer EMT with the Smithtown Fire Department, Arthur Kliman said his brother also helped save countless lives. He was awarded citations for saving the lives of an elderly woman and an infant in 1997; in 1990, he was named department Firefighter of the Year by his peers.

“He was always known for quietly getting the job done without much fanfare,” Arthur Kliman said.

It seemed the fanfare Lincoln Kliman reveled in revolved around his life as JBadger, a character his brother described as being based on the life of honey badgers and the hit sci-fi “Men in Black” movies. In that and other so-called “fursuit” roles, Lincoln Kliman entertained countless attendees at national conventions and volunteer events. He also performed shows with some of the more than 40 puppets he owned and operated.

In addition to his work and role-playing efforts, Arthur Kliman said his brother was a world traveler, having made treks not only across the U.S., but also across Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Lincoln Kliman also is survived his father, Merwin Kliman of Glen Head; and two other brothers, Dave Kliman and Harvey Kliman, of Woodbridge, Connecticut.

The family plans to hold a service Oct. 9 at 10:30 a.m. at the Smithtown Fire Department, 100 Elm Ave., Smithtown.

Donations in Lincoln Kliman’s name may be made to the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Patient Recreation Pavilion at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or to the Rockingham VNA & Hospice at Exeter Hospital-New Hampshire.

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