Honoree Allan “Buddy” Mainzer
Allan Mainzer, known as “Buddy” since childhood, was born and raised in Quogue Village. He graduated from Quogue Elementary School and Westhampton Beach HS. As a 17-year-old senior in high school, Buddy enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was sworn in after graduation and spent the next year plus training at various bases in the U.S. After being assigned to a B-24 bomber crew as a Radio Operator/Waist Gunner, Buddy and his crewmates flew to their European base in Venosa, Italy. In Venosa, they became part of the 829th Bombardment Squadron of the 485th Bombardment Group (Heavy).
After participating in a number of bombing missions, Buddy returned to the U.S. as the European Theater was winding down. Back in the states, he was assigned to a B-29 crew in preparation for deployment in the Pacific Theater. Fortunately, the war was over before he would be sent back overseas. Buddy was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant in late 1945.
Upon returning to Quogue, Buddy became the manager of the Quogue Market, got married to Joan Siskind of Eastport and began a family. He continued to serve his community, joining the Quogue Fire Department. Buddy was the Chief of the QFD in the 1960s when the department was recognized with a New York State award as the top volunteer fire department in the state. He also was Chief when the QFD began its very successful Open House, introducing the department to the greater Quogue community.
In 1973, the Quogue Market closed and Buddy became the manager of the Westhampton-Quogue Market in Westhampton Beach. When that building was sold in 1981, Buddy entered a new phase of his life as a salesman. While still in the food industry, he was able to use his experience and expertise to introduce new products, imports and specialty items to delis and markets throughout Long Island. Just as many of his customers in the markets he ran became friends, so to did many of the customers he grew to know as a salesman. He continued working until just shy of 80 years of age, when his beloved Joan became seriously ill.
Buddy’s civic activities went beyond the fire department. He was a member of the Quogue Zoning Board of Appeals for decades and he was instrumental in obtaining the property at the entrance to the village business district for use as a park. Buddy first got permission to use that property for the fire department during their Open House. After the property was sold, the Village tasked Buddy with negotiating with the new owners and a neighbor to try to get the property deeded to the Village. The success of those negotiations can now be seen as the skating pond, benches and gazebo across the street from the fire department and police station. Buddy also served the greater Hamptons community as an officer with the VFW Post in Quogue.
Buddy was never one to seek attention or feel the need to be recognized for the work he did for his community. He quietly went about any task that was asked of him. As much as he loved Quogue, his greatest joy was his family. Buddy and Joan were married for 58 years and they had 2 children and 3 grandchildren whom he loved and doted over. His love, guidance and quiet strength were not only a bedrock of his community, but for his family as well.