Brent Firester, a longtime area resident, died Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at the Garnet Health Medical Center in the Town of Wallkill, NY. He was 74 years of age.
Brent Firester was born September 10, 1946, at Brookdale Hospital (Brooklyn, NY) to Celia and Harry Firester. Brent’s career was very much aligned with his personal mission in life: helping others. For nearly four decades he served the public in his capacity as an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) in both Rockland and Orange County, while working at a number of New York State facilities (Rockland Psychiatric Center, Middletown Psychiatric Center, and Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center) and private ones. He also counseled members of the public in his private practice. Among the many people he helped in that capacity were those who intended to commit suicide.
He belonged to the Temple Sinai Men’s Club as a member and past president. He was a volunteer for a variety of humanitarian causes such as an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) counselor, Meals-on-Wheels, Garnet Medical Center, 911 Mental Health Worker, RAPP (Relatives As Parents Program) mentor. He also served in causes such as JFS (Jewish Family Services) and People for People Fund. A substantial portion of his time was spent with Holocaust survivors and the elderly.
Brent, a US Army Vietnam-era Veteran, is survived by his brother Mark, his wife Nancy, their children and grandchildren, his sister Flo Wolf, her husband Harold, their children and grandchildren, his ex-wife, Barbara, with whom he has two sons, Jeff and David, as well as David’s wife, Netka, and their son, Joshua. He is also survived by his partner of 24 years, Lisa, her children and grandchildren. Brent did not indicate that he would like for people to donate to any specific causes, but if you knew him you would understand that his life’s work was exemplary of the notion that all of humanity is worthy of assistance.
Funeral services will be held at 11 AM Friday, June 4th at Temple Sinai, 75 Highland Ave., Middletown, NY. Rabbi Joel Schwab will officiate. Interment will follow at the Temple Sinai Cemetery, Circleville, NY. Please be advised that face coverings must be worn and social distancing must be followed.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Cornelius, Dodd & Connell Funeral Home, Middletown, NY.