Mr. Maurice V. BareilleDecember 29, 1918 ~ January 11, 2018 (age 99)
Bareille, Maurice V. of Farmingdale, NY, on January 11, 2018 at the age 99. Beloved husband of the late Marie. Loving father of the late Marie Bareille. Dear brother of Anna Kerekes, and the late George Bareille and cherished uncle. He was a PROUD WWII Army veteran. Friends may call at the Bryant Funeral Home, 411 Old Town Rd. E. Setauket. Visitation Monday, 2-4 & 7-9 PM. Funeral Mass Tuesday, 9:30AM at St. James RC Church, Setauket. Interment to follow at the Calverton National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Long Island State Veterans Home, 100 Patriots Road, Stony Brook New York, 11790.
For those that may not know me I’m Uncle Mike’s nephew Seth the youngest of the four sons of his younger sister Anna. If you’ll bear me out I’m going to share a little about my Uncle in an attempt to do some justice to his amazing 99 year run...
On Sunday December 29, 1918 one Maurice Vincent Bareille came into the world (Jersey City, NJ to be exact) and what a world it was! The US and the rest of the world were recovering from a vicious hangover known as World War 1. Soon enough the roaring twenties began and with it came economic prosperity for the US and Western Europe and then in 1929 it all came crashing down and young Maurice and the family found themselves in the throes of the Great Depression. For the next ten years while the US struggled to recover Maurice grew up in Roosevelt, NY attending school and taking up football in high school playing with just a leather helmet and no face mask. His abilities on the field earned him some looks from colleges including Wake Forest who offered him a full ride, but alas his parents wouldn’t approve and refused to sign the necessary papers for fear he might get hurt. Sooo, Maurice found a less risky activity climbing telephone poles and running phone lines on Long Island with the Coast Guard after the 1938 hurricane. In an attempt to minimize his risk even further (ahem) he enlisted in the US Army in August 1941 and because of his experience laying line, was sent to Fort Monmouth NJ where he received signal corps training. Then on Dec 7,1941 everything changed and the US found themselves in another World War - WW2, the big one. Maurice continued his training at Fort Monmouth until 1944 and as things heated up he was sent to the European Theatre as part of the 275th signal construction company or the “deuce 75” as he called it landing first in England and then subsequently France participating in D-Day (D-Day plus 5). From there he served as part of the 3rd army under General George S. Patton and took part in the liberation of France, the Battle of the Bulge, and the liberation of Berlin. In 1945 Japan surrendered and WW2 ended but Maurice stayed on in the reserves until 1953 whence Captain Maurice Bareille was honorably discharged from the Army but not before he was awarded the Bronze Medal for his wartime accomplishments which included laying 650 miles of communication cable in record time and setting up the Normandy Base Headquarters in Deauville France, as well as his ability to work with the local French population due to his fluency with the language. Upon coming home Maurice continued his pursuits in communication landing a job with New York Telephone where incidentally he earned the name “Mike.” Turns out most of the guys installing line were Irish and they took a liking to Maurice but told him he needed to change his name to Mike to fit in. This job eventually morphed into other jobs in telecommunication and he continued to have a storied career with various companies that lasted 37 years and ended ultimately with Verizon. On the personal side in 1947 he married his sweetheart Marie Demarco, settled in Farmingdale and they had a beautiful girl Marie who grew up and served not only as babysitter for my brothers and I, but as our surrogate sister. She went on to college at the University of Washington and then carved out a career in book editing and publishing in New York City. It was during this time that I first began to know the man as “Unc’s” and from my earliest recollection he always seemed larger than life to me. For starters he was literally the biggest member of our family tree, one that is not known for their height. And on a personal note the things that I will always fondly remember about Uncle Mike are as follows:
Countless Christmases and New Years’ visits and boisterous conversations around the dining room table
Special Easter visits which always included his homemade chocolate Easter bunnies
The way he referred to his daughter Marie as “doll” or “the doll”
His love of Montauk as a fishing Mecca and his buddy Charlie Peppard who took me fluke fishing once...and only once...because my line was forever tangled
His beloved poodle Jacques whom he taught to growl at the word “Hitler”
His selling me not one but two trucks including his Isuzu trooper which Beth and I drove all over the east coast during the early years of our marriage and his GMC truck which is currently in use by his grand nephew (our son) Liam and transports all his drum equipment
His hearty open mouthed toothy laugh and his enjoying an off color remark or dirty joke
His giant mitt-sized vise grip handshake…even at age 99!
Tomatoes from his garden
His philanthropy which included collecting empties from bars and garbage cans and turning the proceeds over to charity
That he truly was one of the Greatest Generation living through 10 decades of history - witnessing the swearing in of 18 US Presidents, the building of the Panama Canal (which he had a part in), personally seeing Charles Lindbergh take off from Roosevelt Field, NY on his infamous non-stop transatlantic flight, the civil rights movement, the Korean War, the Assassinations of MLK, JFK and RFK, the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis, the groovy 60s and Vietnam War, manned space flight and the moon landing, the move from radio to television to cable, the Disco craze and Bicentennial of the 70s, the building of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent tearing down of the Berlin Wall, Desert Storm, 9/11 and the advent of the calculator, pc, cell phone and satellite radio just to name a few
I could go on and I’m sure all of you could too but I’m gonna close this out with some lyrics that I think are apropos from a song Bruce Springsteen wrote in honor of his late friend and confidant Terry McGovern - this is from Terry’s Song:
They say you can’t take it with you, but I think that they’re wrong
Cause all I know is I woke up this morning and something big was gone
Gone into that dark ether where you’re still young and hard and cold
Just like when they built you Uncle Mike, they broke the mold
Now your death is upon us and we’ll return you to the earth
And I know you’ll take comfort in knowing you’ve been roundly blessed and cursed
But love is a power greater than death, just like the songs and stories told,
And when she built you Uncle Mike, she broke the mold
God Bless you Unc’s and Rest In Peace...