Given all he has done for the Seaford community, there is no questioning Stanton Bahr’s
dedication to the hamlet.
Bahr, a former Seaford resident, died of natural causes on Sept. 21. He was 95.
Bahr was known in the community for founding the Seaford Historical Society and the Seaford Historical Museum in 1976, which he described as “a 10-year labor of love,” according to Historical Society President Judy Bongiovi. Bahr served as the society’s president from 1970 to 1976.
Described as a Seafordite through and through by Bongiovi, Bahr was raised in Seaford by Vera Harriet (Smith) Bahr and Albert William Bahr Sr. He also had a brother, Albert William Bahr Jr. Stanton, known to many as Stan, completed his elementary education in Seaford schools and graduated from W.C. Mepham High School in North Bellmore in 1943, when Seaford High School had not yet been established.
During school vacations and summers, Bahr worked at the Seaford post office as a mail carrier. In 1955 he went to work for his father’s moving and storage business, on Sunrise Highway in Seaford. He was also the secretary and treasurer of the Long Island Moving and Storage Association.
“He was a very active man — and he loved to sing,” Bongiovi said. “He had wonderful stories of Seaford, and was just an all-around wonderful person. He would talk to everyone, no matter what their walk of life was.”
Bahr served in the Navy during and after World War II, from 1944 to 1946. He served in Guam under Admiral Chester A. Nimitz, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and sang in the Navy’s Boot Camp Choir. After being discharged, he earned a degree from Centre College in Danville, Ky. While there he sang in Centre’s Tour Choir and was a member of numerous clubs and organizations.
Bahr took great pride in his hometown of Seaford, and in preserving its history. In 1968 it celebrated the 325th anniversary of its founding, and he wrote a book on its history that is still on sale in the museum.
“He loved Seaford because he was born and bred here, and Seaford is such a wonderful, small, tight-knit community to this day,” said Bongiovi, who became the society’s president in 2015. “We are blessed in this community, because people like Stan loved it so much, to have people remember its history.”
Under his direction, the museum opened on July 4, 1976. The building was previously a firehouse and a schoolhouse.
“He always welcomed people to Seaford,” Bongiovi said. “. . . He wrote the history book to preserve and keep history alive in Seaford. We are forever indebted to him for that.”
When the Historical Society building was revamped in 2006 by then President Charles Wroblewski and others, Bahr was fully involved. “He was always there if you needed him for advice, for knowledge or whatever you needed,” Wroblewski said. “He helped us out immensely. He lived Seaford history, and he was the expert. There was no one better to help you.”
Wroblewski, who described Bahr as a gentleman, added, “He just wanted to make sure that the history of Seaford carried on.”
Longtime resident Fred Roth said that Bahr was invested in Seaford’s past because his parents were, too. “It was in his blood to preserve the history,” Roth said.
Roth described Bahr as “a lot of fun,” and someone who was always ready with a funny story. “When you were with Stanton you didn’t do anything but laugh,” he recalled. “He was a comic.”
Bahr never married, but was a very popular man. “He was liked by everyone,” Roth said. “Everyone wanted to talk to him.”
The Seaford Historical Society Scholarship, which is awarded to a Seaford High School graduate each June, will be renamed the Stanton Bahr Scholarship in his memory.
Bongiovi said: “It’s a blessing to know a man who loved his community so much.”