Nestled in the heart of Huntington Station, New York, lies a picturesque park that offers a peaceful escape for visitors and serves as a touching tribute to a remarkable individual. Located along E 20th Street, this hidden oasis provides not only a scenic respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life but also a heartwarming memorial to a local hero. Let’s delve into this serene destination and learn more about the life and legacy of the person it honors.
A Testament to Community Spirit
This park is a testament to the power of community and the desire to honor an extraordinary individual. It’s a place where both residents and visitors can find solace, surrounded by the beauty of nature. The well-manicured greenery, vibrant flowers, and tranquil ambiance make it an ideal spot for relaxation and contemplation. As you stroll along the well-kept pathways, you can’t help but feel the serenity of the park’s surroundings.
Remembering Richard W. Holst
The heart and soul of this memorial park’s existence is the inspiring life of Richard W. Holst, a local hero whose influence extended far beyond his hometown. Richard, affectionately known as “Rich,” was a man of remarkable character, and his life’s work continues to inspire those who visit this peaceful haven.
Early Life and Education
Rich was born on May 19, 1949, in Rockville Center, New York. He was the third son of Martha and Henry Holst. His educational journey took him through the Uniondale Public School system, and upon completing high school, he furthered his education at Nassau Community College.
Service to the Nation: United States Navy
Rich’s journey of service began with his enlistment in the United States Navy. He served aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga, an aircraft carrier assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. His role as a ‘yellow shirt’ involved working on the flight deck of the ship, where he directed fighter jets for safe landings. Rich’s tour of duty with the Navy commenced in June 1968 and concluded in April 1972, during the challenging era of the Vietnam War.
Family Life and Career
Following his honorable military service, Rich married his high school sweetheart, Noreen, on October 6, 1973. In the very same year, he embarked on a 36-year career with the utility company Long Island Lighting Co., now known as National Grid. By 1976, Rich and Noreen had made Huntington Station their home, a place that held a special place in his heart. Discover More about Huntington Station here.
A Dedicated Firefighter
In 1978, Rich made a significant decision to join the Huntington Manor Fire Department, following in the footsteps of his father, Henry, who had served in the Uniondale Fire Department and rose to the rank of Chief. Rich’s commitment to the fire department extended for 31 dedicated years. His contributions were not only significant but also diverse. For 26 consecutive years, he was elected to the office of Chaplain of the Department, and he simultaneously served as the Captain of the Fire Police.
Rich’s dedication to the role of Chaplain earned him the affectionate nickname, ‘The Rev,’ which was lovingly embraced by his fellow firefighters, coworkers, and personal friends. Even his license plate, “HMFD REV,” reflected his fondness for the nickname.
A Member of the Wider Firematic Community
Rich’s dedication wasn’t confined to his department alone. He was also a longstanding member of the New York State Association of Fire Chaplains, where he served with distinction. In 2008, he was elected Chief Chaplain of the association, a role that signified his commitment to serving each and every firefighter across the Empire State.
A Commitment to Excellence and Compassion
Throughout his life, Rich embodied a commitment to excellence and a spirit of humanity and compassion. He was not only a courageous firefighter but also a dedicated family man. His 36-year career and his extensive community service reflected his unwavering dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of those around him.
Leaving Behind a Lasting Legacy
Richard Holst’s legacy will long endure the passage of time. It remains a comforting memory to all he served, befriended, and cherished. His proud and loving family, as well as the broader community, deeply and sorely miss him.
A Place of Reflection and Inspiration
The park, nestled in Huntington Station, now serves as a tribute to Rich’s enduring legacy. It’s a place where the spirit of the person it commemorates lives on, inspiring both young and old to give back to their community and cherish the natural world around them. The park stands as a living testament to the power of community, the enduring legacy of a remarkable individual, and the importance of preserving the values that truly matter.
In the heart of Huntington Station, along E 20th Street, this serene park stands as a tribute to an extraordinary individual who dedicated his life to serving his country, his community, and his family. It’s a place where visitors can find solace, reflect on the values of dedication and kindness, and draw inspiration from the enduring legacy of Richard W. Holst. This hidden gem is a testament to the power of community, the enduring impact one individual can make on the lives of many. Check this out >>