Obituary: Allen ‘Chick’ Behringer

By Dan Moffett

BRINY BREEZES — When the Town Council had an open seat in 2016, Allen “Chick” Behringer stepped up and volunteered to fill it.
10065475679?profile=RESIZE_180x180He said Briny Breezes had been good to him since his first visit in 2002, and now that he had left Long Island and become a full-time resident, he wanted to try to do some good for Briny.
“I want to do something for the community which I happen to love,” he said. “I want to keep it as it is. I want to keep it functional.”
A retired salesman and entrepreneur, he brought a business sensibility to the council’s work. Mr. Behringer’s input helped the council create a town manager position, overhaul aging infrastructure, hire staff, write job descriptions and keep budgets balanced.
Council President Sue Thaler said that, with a successful business career behind him, “he made very thoughtful contributions to Briny.”
“He brought a different level of thinking to the council,” Mayor Gene Adams said. “He didn’t miss a meeting. Chick just did a great job.”
The mayor said that when he and his wife, Alderwoman Christina Adams, moved to Briny, it was Mr. Behringer who reached out to them.
“He was so welcoming,” Adams said. “You could see how much he loved the Briny community.”
On Jan. 11, Alderman Behringer died in his Briny home, among family and with companion Kennedy O’Grady, after a brief battle with melanoma. He was 81.
“He enjoyed his work on the Town Council,” said O’Grady, his partner for most of the last decade. “His hobby was cooking, and he loved to entertain. He always added a laugh and was a wonderful, generous man.”
Alderman Bill Birch said he not only lost a colleague but a close friend.
“Chick was very intelligent, but he was not one of those people who spoke to hear himself speaking,” Birch said. “When he said something, it was worth hearing. His passing so suddenly is very upsetting.”
Mr. Behringer and his wife of 48 years, Mary (McCourt), bought a home on Mallard Drive in 2008 and became year-round residents two years later. She died in 2013.
They raised four children — Michael, Megan, John and Suzanne — with eight grandchildren: Nolan and Chloe Behringer; Connor and Katlyn Kestenbaum; Kerry, Jack, Ryan and Colleen Behringer.
“He felt lucky to live by the sea and among friends,” said his daughter-in-law Megan Abate, Michael’s wife. “Chick was full of life, light and laughter. He lived by the ethos it is not the length of life but the depth of life which is most important.”
Mr. Behringer was drawn to the ocean. He grew up in Oak Beach, New York, fishing with his older brother Neail, and was a member of the South Shore Marlin and Tuna Club. He enjoyed fish stories and those who told them.
A graduate of American University and St. Leo Catholic Academy in Corona, New York, Mr. Behringer started as a salesman for the Burlington Corp. and then ran his own successful company, Mr. Sign, which manufactured signs and displays for businesses throughout the New York area. He attended Our Lady of Mercy Church in Queens and frequented the American Legion Hall there. His favorite charity was the Wounded Warrior Project.
The family plans to hold a memorial gathering for Mr. Behringer in the Briny Breezes clubhouse beginning at 11 a.m. Feb. 5.

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