Submitted by his wife
I would like to share some excerpts from a citation given to Al posthumously by the Governor of the state of New York‚ George E. Pataki‚ and some words from Douglas Wattoff who delivered his eulogy. Governor Pataki wrote: Alfred Andrew Wohrman put his own life and limb at risk in order to protect the lives and property of those living and working in the communities he served; in responding on that fateful morning of April 17‚ 2005 to a vehicle fire‚ as ever prepared to face the dangers that lay ahead Al Wohrman made the ultimate sacrifice.
As a lifelong New Yorker and resident of the hamlet of Poughquag in the Town of Beekman‚ Al Wohrman graduated from Arlington High School and attended Dutchess Community College. He married his childhood sweetheart‚ Sharon Shepard. Al and Sharon first became the involved and caring parents of Christan and Brian and‚ subsequently the happy and proud grandparents of Sarah and Coryn.
Al began his firefighting career in 1964‚ joining the Beekman Fire Department and serving on the Board of Directors of the Fire Company‚ in addition to being a Fire Commissioner; he was revered as an integral part of the company‚ indeed‚ as ‘the heart’ of the department‚ for many decades.
He was known for his humble determination to lend a hand with little fanfare. Al has long been recognized and honored for his spirit of volunteerism – as Captain of the Beekman Rescue Squad‚ a member of the Beekman Zoning Board of Appeals and in the Poughquag Lions Club‚ Poughquag Sportsman Club and the Fraternal Order of Masons. With his outgoing and gregarious personality‚ displayed in the warmth‚ charm‚ humor and hospitality for which he was famous‚ Al Wohrman will forever be deeply missed by this close-knit rural community and his friends.
Al will be remembered as an avid golfer‚ sports enthusiast‚ and roller coaster fanatic and as a former coach of Little League and Youth Soccer and as a man of great energy and zest with a deep and abiding love of wit and laughter.
One of Wohrman’s best friends was Douglas Wattoff‚ who delivered the eulogy at his funeral. Doug said the spectrum of people at Wohrman’s funeral cut through socio-economic boundaries. ‘Al respected people for who they were‚ not what they were‚’ said Wattoff.
On the weekend Al died‚ he was in the middle of finishing the patio steps at his home. He had completed all but one step. That Monday‚ his friends arrived at the home to complete the job.
The outpouring of grief following Wohrman’s death had as much to do with his vibrant personality as his community service. He packed in a lot of living into his 60 years. Al loved to travel with his friends and family. He would always have to find the highest point on an island that they were visiting. If there was a rainforest‚ a cliff with a view or a rock outcropping‚ Al was there.
He never took the same route twice‚ always looking for a new experience. This could often turn into an adventure‚ as Al relied on his collection of 1960’s Esso maps. ‘Getting to heaven will be a long trip for him‚’ said Wattoff.
Al had an uncanny ability to ingratiate himself with strangers. One time‚ while vacationing with friends in St. Thomas‚ Wattoff was swimming in the ocean when he saw Wohrman in the distance‚ wading towards a local wedding on the beach. ‘We were watching Al from about 200 yards away and we saw him in his bathing trunks and glasses getting closer and closer to the wedding. The next thing we knew‚ he was right in the middle and taking part in the ceremony. Al congratulated the happy couple and swam back to his family and friends.
Al would travel great distances to ride roller coasters. ‘One Fourth of July we flew out to Sandusky because they had a roller coaster that had 15 loops. Al was always up for a great ride.’
Wohrman loved to fly with Wattoff and enjoyed early morning flights. Al planned on obtaining his pilot’s license. ‘We would fly across the tops of clouds and the more turbulence‚ the better‚’ said Wattoff.
More than anything‚ Al enjoyed the company of friends and family. The Wohrman household was known as ‘Mecca.’ The couple would often host huge barbecues and friends would simply stop by. ‘You could go there at anytime and find 20 people having the best time‚’ said Wattoff.
Al was devoted to his family. He loved spending time with his granddaughters‚ Coryn and Sarah. ‘His grandkids were his pride and joy. He was a wonderful grandfather‚’ said Wattoff.
Al loved to laugh and make others laugh. He performed magic at children’s birthday parties. He was always pulling practical jokes. Wattoff said his friend would always have a unique perspective on things. He is still compiling a list of memorable ‘Wohrmanisms.’
Al will be remembered as a loving husband‚ father‚ grandfather and ‘Best Friend’ to many. In a final gift to others‚ Wohrman’s organs were donated to the New York Organ Donor Network and his skin to the burn unit for firefighters.
‘Al’s involvement in the Beekman Fire Department