The sky was overcast on Oct. 3 as people silently gathered around a skinny tree in Mepham High School’s courtyard for a ceremony. Beneath the sapling, a small gray plaque, flanked by two small American flags, read, “In memory of Roy Weinman, Class of 1941.”
Mepham officials chose to remember Weinman, a longtime Bellmore hardware store owner, who died on July 11, 2017. He was an active member of the community his entire life, through his dedication in the Bellmore Lions Club and the Chamber of Commerce. His wife, Myrna, and their four children also graduated from Mepham.
Weinman’s Hardware was passed down to Roy by his father. When “big-bucks” stores began appearing in Bellmore, Myrna said, people would still shop at Weinman’s when they needed the items those stores could not provide.
“They knew that they could come into Weinman’s, and no matter what, he would help them,” Myrna said, recalling the days when her husband ran the store. “Everybody would go down to Roy’s basement — the treasure trove — and they would find it down there. It was a really special place.”
“People came from miles away just to get things nobody else had,” John Scalesi, a longtime North Bellmore resident and friend of Weinman, said.
Roy enlisted in the U.S. Army in November 1942 during World War II, because he felt it was his “patriotic duty,” Myrna told the Herald last year. He served with the Army Corps of Engineers in Belgium before he was transferred to the Philippines when the war ended in Europe.
Myrna attended the event along with her husband’s friends, some Mepham staff and students. She said she was thankful that the school dedicated a memorial to her husband.
“Mr. Weinman was a true Pirate, who cared a great deal about Mepham and our community,” Principal Eric Gomez said. “His sudden passing last year affected many in the community, especially his family.”
Jack Skelly, a current Lions Club member, shared 35 years in the club with Weinman. “I met Roy when I was in grammar school, so I knew him a long time,” he said. “Over the years, we got to be friends.”
During the event, Skelly brought Weinman’s personality to life. “He was a really nice person,” Skelly said. “He was very learned. He read a lot. We used to sit in his van, and we could talk just about anything, have a good conversation.”
Skelly added that he would never talk about politics or religion with Weinman, but “everything else was fair game.”
Myrna admitted that Roy would probably have been embarrassed by the attention, although “he would love this,” she said with a laugh. She is trying to raise money to train a service dog for veterans in her husband’s memory.