Artie Hoerning, owner of Artie’s South Shore Fish Market & Grill in Island Park, died suddenly on Feb. 20 at his home in East Rockaway. He was 69.
Hoerning was born in Queens, and grew up in Lynbrook, according to his daughter Christina. He learned to fish at age 5, a hobby he would end up making a living on.
He took pride in serving freshly caught fish to the community, and owned his fish market for more than 40 years. Hoerning built the market’s accompanying restaurant at its current location on Austin Boulevard in 1999, Christina said, adding that she and at least 20 family members worked at the business over the years.
Christina described her father as a hard-working fisherman who wanted to share the wealth of knowledge he possessed with everyone around him. “Anybody who went on the boat, he’d tell you about it and teach,” Christina said. “He’d want whoever was with him to learn.”
She recalled fishing with him often as a child, and added that she spent many days out in the water with him last summer. His attention to detail was one of the reasons he was so successful. “It was just him teaching me why we were fishing in this spot based on the wind and the tide,” she said, “[and] why the fish are there.”
Nancy Solomon, director of Long Island Traditions, a group that fights for the preservation of the region’s contemporary maritime and farming culture, described Hoerning’s ways as “a throwback…to the age of when fishermen sold their own fish.”
“Half the time he was out fishing,” Solomon said, “and if you came in at the right time, there he was selling the catch of the day, literally.”
Hoerning was very involved in educating fisherman on local regulations and advocating on their behalf, Solomon said. Her group would instill the traditions of recreational and commercial fishing in Long Islanders through school programs, membership outings and tours of local fish markets. “Artie was our go-to guy on many of these things,” she said.
Community members attended Hoerning’s wake at Perry Funeral Home in Lynbrook on Feb. 23 and 24. His funeral was last Saturday at St. Raymond’s Church in East Rockaway.
“The outflow of people in these last couple days has been absolutely amazing,” Christina said. “The support from the community and the customers…it was just beautiful. Everybody had a story to share with us, and it was amazing.”
In addition to Christina, of East Rockaway, Hoerning is survived by his other daughter, Cara Lee Hoerning Filomio, of Long Beach, son-in-law Christopher Filomio and grandchildren Melia and Kai Filomio. His wife, Christine Hoerning, died in 2014.
The business was temporarily closed, but was expected to reopen this week.
“Our goal is to have the legacy of my dad go on, because he deserves that,” Christina said. “…He’s not here but he’s here by the things that he taught people. That’s how he’s going to be around.”