For more than seven decades, Bayville residents Sonia and Walter Baron built a life together based on their shared religion and culture, charitable works, family, and a love of fishing, their daughter Katherine said.
The Barons, who would have celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary in May, died three days apart. A house fire that erupted just before 2 p.m. on Nov. 11 at their Bayville Park Boulevard home claimed Sonia Baron, 94.
Walter Baron, 96, severely burned, died at a hospital on Nov. 14, authorities said.
"They loved each other very, very much," said the couple's daughter, Katherine Baron, also of Bayville.
Their longtime home was destroyed in the fire. Ashes are all that are left of a portrait that hung over the mantle of Katherine Baron and her brother, Dean Walter, who died several years ago. A blind starling the daughter taught to talk, which helped keep her parents company, also perished.
Lying on the ground outside the family home was a sodden copy of her parents' wedding certificate, Katherine Baron said.
"Everything is gone," she said. "I don't know how this could happen."
A fire official said Wednesday that the blaze was not suspicious and described it as an accidental electrical fire.
The Barons moved from the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Bayville in 1955, where Walter Baron practiced dentistry after obtaining his degree from the University of Pennsylvania, their daughter said.
Walter Baron loved to fish, so much so that the family spent about a dozen summers on a boat, anchored at a Port Washington marina so he could commute to work.
"They liked the water," said their daughter, whose small menagerie — including a dog, a cat, a guinea pig and a bird — was welcomed aboard.
"My mother was a beautiful person. She always stood by my family. She did everything for me and my father and my brother," Katherine Baron said. "She was the rock of my family."
Her father, an expert on dental implants, practiced in Manhattan and at an office in their family home. He treated priests for free. Working with another dentist, he fixed the teeth of underprivileged New York City children, also at no charge, she said. During World War II, he served in the United States Army as a captain.
Walter Baron, who taught local schoolchildren how to fish, was a founding member of the Oyster Bay Anglers, a club focused on fishing and conservation.
"He was very witty," his daughter recalled.
Both sides of the family emigrated from Ukraine, and the Barons honored their Roman Catholic heritage throughout their life.
A funeral Mass will be held for the couple at noon Saturday at St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church in Bayville.
They will be interred at Bayville Cemetery, according to the Oyster Bay Funeral Home.