Vincent Bordash, who made a career out of being able to fix all things mechanical, moved his family to North Carolina two decades ago, but he never really left Long Island.
Bordash, 63, died April 4 of colon cancer at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, North Carolina.
Bordash was born in Bay Shore and raised in Center Moriches. He was named for his father, who worked for Newsday for more than four decades and retired as vice president for circulation in 1986. His father died in 1994.
Bordash graduated from Southampton College with a psychology degree in 1972 and went to work with people with mental illnesses, but he felt he was baby-sitting instead of helping them. So he tried his hand at plumbing.
"That's when he realized he was mechanically blessed," said Anna, his widow after 40 years of marriage.
After he served a plumbing apprenticeship and obtained an electrician's license, Bordash started Dynatron Mechanical Contracting in Bay Shore in 1982, serving many customers in the Hamptons.
In his spare time, Bordash built a house in Crystal Beach so he and Anna could start a family, which they did in 1982. It would be the first of four houses he would build for family members.
His brother Russell, of San Francisco, recalled him as a bit of a perfectionist at his work, but also as someone who loved to read history and tell stories.
In 1993, Bordash moved his wife and young children to Hickory, to be near other family members.
But Bordash couldn't leave Long Island behind.
"He was just never able to leave work up there. All of his customers became family. He just loved it up there," his wife said.
He'd spend two weeks working long days for his customers on Long Island, and return to Hickory for a week with his family, she said.
For the rest of his life, even as he battled cancer for the past five years, Bordash continued to split his time between his two homes.
Bordash was proud of his three children, including his daughter Jenna, who went to the U.S. Naval Academy and is now a naval helicopter pilot in South Korea.
In addition to his wife, daughter and brother, survivors include sons Michael of Tustin, California, and Evan of Hickory; mother Helen of Hickory; brother Gerard of Sacramento, California; and sisters Carol of Matthews, North Carolina, and Maria of Hickory.
Services were private.
The family requests that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.