'Making things better in the community'

John Szimanski, Salisbury civic leader, dies at 80


John Szimanski, a Salisbury civic leader and avid Eisenhower Park golfer, died on Sept. 5. He was 80.

Szimanski, known by many as “Chip,” was the husband of the late Beverlee Szimanski, who died in 2002. John and Beverlee were known for their commitment to Salisbury, especially as active leaders for the Community Association of Stewart Avenue (CASA).

Even after Beverlee’s death, John continued the couple’s mission to serve the community. John’s daughter, Leanne Calabrese, said her father usually worked “behind-the-scenes.” As the couple’s four children were older and starting their own families, John and Beverlee took on more extensive roles as civic leaders.

In addition to assisting his wife with CASA duties, Mr. Szimanski regularly patrolled the neighborhood as an auxiliary police officer. He also attended the civilian police academy with his wife. Both were also active participants on various community advisory boards, including the Nassau University Medical Center and the county jail.

“They were here their whole lives,” Calabrese said. “It was never a question of moving, it was always a question of making it


And if he was not volunteering or serving the community, the civic leader could usually be found on one of Eisenhower Park’s three golf courses, Calabrese said.

Two encased balls always stood out on display, both of which he sunk as holes-in-one during his lengthy golf career, one that he continued until his final months.

In his younger years, Szimanski was also a regular on community softball fields, as a member of the Carman Avenue Men’s League.

Szimanski was an electric linesman at LILCO for 13 years. During his time there, he had one major close call, Calabrese said, when he survived after being struck by nearly 1,300 volts of electricity.

Known for being “man of his hands,” Szimanski used those skills each December, when he helped wire, decorate and trim the tree for the CASA Holiday Tree Lighting.

Szimanski, who grew up in Carle Place, was a veteran who served in the Korean War.

Szimanski was preceded in death by wife, Beverlee and son, John P. Szimanski Jr. He is survived by: daughter and son-in-law Leanne and Scott Calabrese; daughter and son-in-law, Jeanne and Gary Bernardez; and daughter and son-in-law, Patricia and William Hearn; six grandchildren; and siblings, Gerty, Claire and Jerri.

The family received friends on Sept. 7 at Donohue Cecere Funeral Home in Westbury. A memorial Mass for Mr. Szimanski was held on Sept. 8 at Holy Family R.C. Church in Hicksville, followed by a private interment. Donations in John’s memory can be sent to: American Cancer Society, P.O.Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK, 73123-1718.