From community leaders to war veterans to Holocaust survivors, the Town of North Hempstead lost many great people in 2012.
Eva Eisen, active in the Port Washington community, died on Sept. 29 in Los Angeles. She was 88. Eisen’s son, Paul Stanley, founded the rock band Kiss, and wrote many of the group’s most popular hits.
Elisabeth 'Babette' Lewyt, a pioneer in animal welfare died in December. Devoted to the no-kill rescue movement, Sands Point resident Lewyt was involved with the Animal League’s lifesaving mission for more than five decades.
May Newburger, a former Town of North Hempstead supervisor and councilwoman, and a state assemblywoman, died in August at 92. The first female town supervisor on Long Island, Newburger was considered a role model in public service who counseled many prominent political leaders.
Andrew "Fuzzy" Levane, a long-time Port Washington resident, died in May. He was 92. A scout for the New York Knicks, Levane had also served as the team’s head coach from 1958 to 1960, according to ESPN.
Pete Fornatale a award-winning disk jockey, rock historian and author died in April. Fornatale was the host of Mixed Bag on WFUV and a New York radio icon for more than 40 years.
Jacob "Jack" Stein, a founder of Temple Israel of Great Neck and a prominent leader regarding Jewish causes died Dec. 10. He was 95. Stein's numerous achievements include time served as president of United Synagogues of Conservative Judaism; chairman of the Conference of Major Jewish Organizations; special White House adviser to Pres. Ronald Reagan; a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations; and as a delegate to the Human Rights Commission.
Donald Petrie passed away at his home in Great Neck the age of 90 from medical problems relating to a 2008 stroke on August 30. Petrie, raised in Queens, was a graduate of Chaminade High School before enlisting in the armed services after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 as a member of the Army Air Corps. He was first assigned as a bomber navigator in Italy and left the service with the rank of captain.
Chris Deeks, a teacher and coach for 36 years in four school districts passed away Aug. 30 of a heart attack, days before the start of the new football season. In 2010, Deeks moved on to Great Neck North High, where he was the head coach of both the football and lacrosse programs. He was also a history teacher at the Highland School in Fresh Meadows and at Bethpage.
Pepe Ast Chouake, an 82-year-old Holocaust survivor, died in Great Neck in August. Chouake spent her childhood in Eastern Poland, on the run from the occupying Russian communists, and then the Nazis.
Fred John Laux, a former Sewanhaka scholar-athlete Fred John Laux passed away on Aug. 16 at the age of 77. Laux retired in 1995 as executive vice president of human resources for Phillip Morris.