Written by Harry Loud Friday, 29 October 2010 00:00
Michael J. Minogue, 81, of Levittown, who served as Wantagh’s Fire Chief died this past Oct. 16, 2010 after a long illness. He had served some eight years in the Chief’s Office.
“Big Mike,” as he was affectionately known, due to his 6’ 8” height started his career with the Wantagh Fire Department on March 6, 1962 and was assigned to Engine Company 2 in the north zone.
In 1966 he attained the rank of lieutenant, held that position for two years and became captain in 1968. He served in that capacity for three years whereby he set his sights on the Chief’s Office. In 1974 he became 3rd assistant chief and moved through the ranks becoming chief of department in 1980 and serving until 1982.
A memorable fire during his tenure occurred on Dec.14, 1976 as he was serving as 2nd deputy chief. He, along with Chief Jim O’Connell, arrived at the Levittown School Maintenance Building on Hunt Road and Seamans Neck Road to find it fully involved in fire. The fire was reported around 10:50 a.m. and wasn’t under control until 1 a.m. the following morning.
In 1987 Mike was selected to serve as treasurer of the Wantagh Fire District and held that position for two years. He also held the position of historian of Company 2 for a period of time.
He was a member of the Volunteer and Exempts Firemen’s Association of Wantagh, 6th Battalion Chiefs Association, International Fire Chiefs Association, New York Association of Fire Chiefs and the Nassau County Fire Chiefs Association.
Raised in Queens, Mike attended John Adams High School in Ozone Park and naturally due to his stature played on the basketball team. He was also a member of the orchestra.
Mike met his wife Elaine, who attended Richmond Hill High School, while on a blind date. They married and eventually settled in Levittown where they would have been married for 59 years come this November.
He started a business known as “Call Cardinal” in North Bellmore and his company did much of the renovations and construction throughout the Levittown area. He was very active on the fund raising committee to build St. Bernard’s School and was a member of the Holy Name Society of that parish.
When not working, Mike could be found fishing or hunting and one of his great loves was the New York Giants Football Team. He held season seats for many years and followed them to Pasadena, CA, in 1987 as they beat the Denver Broncos 39-20 in the Super Bowl.
In between football, hunting, fishing and responding to emergencies Mike and Elaine found time to raise a family. They raised six children, all in a Levitt house, Michael, Corrine, Steve (also in Engine 2), Christopher, Timothy and Matthew. Due to Mike’s strong involvement with his church, they all attended St. Bernard’s.
Mike was waked at the Charles O’Shea Funeral Home, Wantagh, with full fire department honors on Oct. 19. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Bernard’s RC Church and interment followed at St. Johns Cemetery, Middle Village, Queens.
Mike is survived by his wife Elaine, his son, Michael (Michelle), daughter, Corrine Yakush (William), son, Steven (Kristine), son, Christopher (Karen), son, Timothy (Katherine), son, Matthew (Susanne) and 13 loving grandchildren.