Peter Damian Blumenauer was affectionately known as "Pete the Plumber."

Peter Damian Blumenauer was affectionately known as "Pete the Plumber." Credit: Blumenauer family

If you had a leak, you called Pete the Plumber.

Peter Damian Blumenauer, 75, of East Islip, made his final service call on Feb. 13. He died of complications from a brain bleed, according to his daughter Christine Blumenauer, of Bay Shore.

Peter Blumenauer had spent the last three years in health care facilities, the most recent at the Affinity Rehabilitation Center of Oakdale.

While serving as a longtime member of the Plumbers Local 200, and as a Suffolk County consumer affairs specialist for more than 20 years, Blumenauer had an ever-growing social circle and many nicknames, like "PTP" for "Pete the Plumber," "Mr. B," and "Big Pete."

“He was such a reliable, good-hearted man and it didn’t matter when someone called for his help, he was ready to go,” said his son, Peter G. Blumenauer, of Islip Terrace. “He always had that little bucket with all the fittings ready to help with a smile and comfort to those in need. He was all about quality and faithful service.”

The elder Blumenauer also served as a Suffolk County plumbing inspector for more than two decades. He was born in the Bronx in 1948. The family moved to Long Island, and he graduated from Brentwood High School in 1966. He attended St. Joseph’s College before accepting a job as an apprentice plumber.

“He was a quick learner and more of the hands-on type of learner,” said daughter Kathleen Hertzig, of Bay Shore. “And he taught us to have a great work ethic. He took me to plumbing jobs to help.”

He met his future wife, Lois Peck of the Finger Lakes area, by chance on a bus trip to the upstate region.

“She could have sat on the bus with a U.S. sailor or the boy with the comic book,” Christine Blumenauer said. “She told me she sat with the boy with the comic book because he was cuter.”

The two were married in 1968, had three children and moved to Bay Shore.

Blumenauer’s greatest pleasure was spending time with his family and putting together backyard wiffle ball games.

“He lived a happy life full of family, friends, and love,” Christine Blumenauer said. “His greatest love aside from his family was sports, especially baseball and his beloved New York Yankees.”

He was one of nine children growing up in the Bronx, right around the corner from Yankee Stadium.

“My grandfather was a bus driver and dropped my dad off at Yankee Stadium for an afternoon game,” his son said. “The game got rained out. And I wish I could say Mickey Mantle or Yogi Berra drove him home. But he just sat there in the rain waiting for the bus to come back and pick him up. He didn’t mind the wait.”

Blumenauer never had a shortage of siblings or nieces and nephews to have a backyard catch. He played in the men’s Stan Musial Baseball League for a Brentwood team, coached by his father, the late Peter Gerard Blumenauer, the deputy commissioner of parks and recreation in the Town of Islip, who also founded the Little League of the Islips.

Blumenauer also was a member of the Hibernians and a huge supporter of St. Baldrick's Foundation.

“My father had friends everywhere,” Hertzig said. “My dad knew everyone’s name and they all knew his — very similar to that of Norm from 'Cheers.' His big heart and zest for life will be sorely missed.”

Along with his three children and Peck, Blumenauer is survived by his life partner, Carol Rempe; his brothers, Billy Blumenauer, of Brentwood, and Paul Blumenauer, of Islip Terrace; sisters, Ginny Blumenauer, of Manhattan, and Helene McCullough, of Raleigh, North Carolina; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

A viewing will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Fredrick J. Chapey & Sons Funeral Home, 200 E. Main St., East Islip. A funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday at 9 a.m. at St. Patrick Church, 9 N. Clinton Ave., Bay Shore, with burial to follow at the church cemetery on Brentwood Road. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Blumenauer's memory to the Little League of the Islips.

Carcinogens found in West Islip … LI jobless rate on the rise … LIRR IOU invoices Credit: Newsday

Urologist sexual abuse case ... Carcinogens found in West Islip ... Lab results for Bethpage park drums ... Rangers win game 2

Carcinogens found in West Islip … LI jobless rate on the rise … LIRR IOU invoices Credit: Newsday

Urologist sexual abuse case ... Carcinogens found in West Islip ... Lab results for Bethpage park drums ... Rangers win game 2

Latest Videos

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME