Just one month after it unanimously approved street renamings for the late Maureen Stramka and Sal D’Amato, Community Board 10 greenlighted an application to rename the corner of 78th Street and Third Avenue in memory of Howie Dunn.
“The committee had heard an abundance of evidence at our previous meeting including numerous awards, certificates of commendation, newspaper clippings and letters of support for Mr. Dunn,” said Jayne Capetanakis, chair of the board’s Traffic & Transportation Committee at the full board meeting at the Norwegian Christian Home, 1250 67th Street, on Monday, February 22. “This application was unanimously approved by the committee.”
Dunn – a naval veteran who served in World War II – was known throughout southwest Brooklyn for his numerous efforts on behalf of veterans, the Boy Scouts, the American Legion and, of course, his own backyard.
“Howie is fully deserving of this,” noted friend and Executive Director of the Bay Ridge Memorial Day Parade Raymond Aalbue when the application was first introduced in December. “What he did for this community was unprecedented.”
Dunn was a major force in the effort to keep alive the Bay Ridge Memorial Day Parade when its future was in doubt, and also made it his personal mission to make sure that businesses along both Third and Fifth Avenue in Bay Ridge had American flags waving proudly outside.
“Every flag that’s in front of a store, Howie had his fingers on,” said Aalbue. “What he did for the Wounded Warriors, what he did for the American Legion, what he did for the Boy Scouts—all of that is just something that nobody will ever be able to do. Nobody will ever be able to fill his shoes.”
Dunn died this past September at the age of 88.
Efforts to memorialize the Bay Ridge icon were expedited, according to the board, so that some of his closest relatives – including his wife, Mae – might get the opportunity to see the street sign hung.
All three applications were passed unanimously by the board, whose recommendations are advisory only. They must now be approved by the City Council.
If approved, the memorial for Stramka – remembered by many for her personality and by all for her unmatched leadership – would also be at the corner of 78th Street and Third Avenue, opposite Dunn’s.
Stramka, who was just 76 when she succumbed to cancer in May of 2014, served as a member of various organizations, including the Bay Ridge Community Council, the Bay Ridge Lions Club, and Ragamuffin Inc., all of which she once led as president. Stramka also served with Bay Ridge Ambulance Volunteer Organization (BRAVO), the 68th Precinct Community Council, the Fort Hamilton Citizens Action Committee and CB 10, among others.
“This is such a great tribute and most fitting to honor the life of Maureen for her work and dedication to Bay Ridge,” said Stramka’s longtime friend, Irene Hanvey, who submitted the application to the board, and spoke on its behalf at CB 10’s January 25 full board meeting. “Thank you to the community, and to the entire staff of Community Board 10.”
D’Amato, the longtime owner of Harborview Car Service who provided vehicles for Bay Ridge on the Move, aiding seniors, as well as for such organizations as the Guild for Exceptional Children, would be commemorated on the east side of Fifth Avenue at 94th Street, near Harborview’s base.