Lynbrook resident Brian Ciampi, 39, died on February 22 after a battle with cancer.
“Maybe you were a childhood friend, or over the years he served you a few cocktails,” said Adam Berkowitz, as he eulogist his friend. “Either way, it was clear that Brian Ciampi made an instant impression on you. People would say that he was always fun and crazy, the life of the party. All of that is true! But to those of us who knew him best, we know that he was much more than that.”
Berkowitz described Ciampi as a loving, caring, generous person, and a devoted son, brother, uncle, nephew and cousin. “Brian literally gave friends the shirt right off his back on multiple occasions,” he said.
For the past two years, with the help of Brian’s other best friends who acted as pall bearers at the service — Billy Bartell, Chris Carano, Chris Accomando, Brian Russo, Brian Wulff and Brian Paladino — Berkowitz and others held fundraisers — a and it was a “collective effort” to try and make Brian’s life better, “as he has always done for us.”
“The apple didn’t fall far from the tree,” said Berkowitz, who got to know the Ciampi family extremely well in the last couple of years. “As their son, Brian, embodied everything that he experienced, learned and absorbed from his Mom and Dad. Brian loved his parents so much and fully understood how painful it was for them and he appreciated all of their endless love and support, especially over the last two years.”
Ciampi worked for the New Hyde Park Department of Works and also tended bar at Pearsall’s Station on Sunrise Highway in Lynbrook. He loved playing sports growing up, and was great at baseball and football. He later enjoyed just being a spectator. He liked movies, music, and spending time with friends and famiy. He always spearheading fun travel trips or daily events with his buddies, who enjoyed entertaining his friends with what Russo refers to as “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
“You sat on the edge of your chair or barstool, waiting to see what happened next,” said Berkowitz, “and Brian never disappointed,” adding that bartending was only a vehicle for Brian to focus on his real craft, which was “people.”