Sebastian A. Albrecht, whose decades-long business career included founding a major local accounting firm, has died. The former Farmingdale resident, who was living in a Holbrook assisted-living facility, was 98.
The cause of death was heart failure, said his daughter Kay Posillico, a Huntington social worker.
In 1950, Albrecht started S.A. Albrecht and Co. in an office above his father-in-law's hardware store. The firm later became Hauppauge-based Albrecht, Viggiano, Zureck & Co., one of Long Island's largest accounting firms, with about 80 employees now. Albrecht retired from the firm in the mid-1980s.
At the outset, he was the accountant for many entrepreneurs and arranged financing for them as Long Island was changing from a farming community to a small-businesses economy, the firm said. He relied on his close relationships with financial institutions to make that happen, names that recall Long Island's banking past: The Bank of Farmingdale, Security National Bank and Sunrise Federal Savings & Loan.
Albrecht Viggiano now has many local municipalities as clients, and Albrecht is credited with starting that process.
"He was confident that this firm could handle just about anything that we brought through the door," said Robert McGrath, an Albrecht Viggiano partner. "He was always selling the firm. And he inspired the rest of us to do the same."
Albrecht was born in upstate Delmar in 1917. He came to Long Island in 1936 after breezing through both high school and college. He graduated from high school at 16 and SUNY Albany, now known as the University at Albany, at 19. After moving to the Island, he taught business courses at Farmingdale High School. He later got his MBA from New York University.
"He was a very bright man," said Posillico, co-director of Life Center Counseling & Health Services in Huntington. "He was a great father, a good husband, a good friend."
After retiring from the accounting firm, he became a certified financial planner and maintained a private practice until his mid-80s, his daughter said.
Besides Posillico, he is survived by daughters Candace Seplavy of Blue Point and Jean Albrecht of Seattle and eight grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. His wife, Helen, died in the late 1990s.
A private memorial service is planned. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that people contribute to the Helen and Sebastian Albrecht Scholarship fund, C/O Farmingdale State College Fund, 2350 Broadhollow Rd., Horton 120, Farmingdale, NY 11735.