Family, friends and community leaders attended a street co-naming ceremony April 30 in honor of Benjamin Schaeffer, an MTA conductor who died of COVID in 2020. The Midwood resident’s death came one day after his 58th birthday.
The new sign on Avenue N and East 15th Street says, “Benjamin W. Schaeffer Way.”
A conductor for 20 years, Schaeffer was also a Local 100 vice chair of RTO with the Transport Workers Union of America, an NYPD auxiliary officer and a member of the Bay Democrats Club and the 70th Precinct Community Council. He received the MTA Medal of Excellence in 2018 for evacuating passengers after a man poured gasoline on the N train near the 36th Street station.
Speakers at the co-naming ceremony included Schaeffer’s girlfriend Lisa Smid, Councilmember Ari Kagan, Ed Powell, president of the 70th Precinct Community Council, and Rabbi Sam Levine of the East Midwood Jewish Center.
“I couldn’t save him, but I can do this for him,” Smid said. “I’m hoping this dedication ritual – and the sign that will stand long after we’re gone – helps everyone know what we had in Ben, what we lost, and the takeaways of his life which we can keep with us if we’re smart about it.”