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Hilton Garden Inn - Stony Brook
Peter Nowick Jr., philanthropist, dies
By Peter C. Mastrosimone
August 06, 2005 | 01:25 PM
Peter Nowick Jr., a longtime North Shore business leader who supported charitable groups and the arts, died July 20 at age 58.

The owner and chief executive officer of the Three Village Bennett insurance firm, Nowick was a past president of the Smithtown Rotary Club and a member of the Smithtown Chamber of Commerce, the St. James Chamber of Commerce and the Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages. He was also a trustee of the Harbor Country Day School in Nissequogue.

He became owner of Three Village Bennett in 1988.

"He was wonderful, very light-hearted and at the top of his game," said Three Village Bennett President Virginia McGrath. "He was the type of guy that could drive you crazy he would get under your collar but you couldn't help but love him. He will be sorely missed."

Both McGrath and Pat Vecchio, the Smithtown supervisor and a longtime friend of Nowick's, said they considered him as close as family.

"Peter was a kind, generous and respectful person," Vecchio said. "I spent many a Christmas and Thanksgiving with Peter and my family, and in fact we treated him as our family."

It was Nowick who introduced Vecchio to Good Fellows, a club which, with no fanfare, helps out local people in need of assistance. Members give money to people suffering under the weight of a job loss, house fire, medical bills and the like, all on an individual face-to-face basis. The organization is completely private and raises all its money through events like golf outings and membership dues, Vecchio said.

The supervisor said Nowick first brought him to a Good Fellows meeting about 10 years ago.

"Peter had a very good heart and cared about people in need," Vecchio said.

Born August 20, 1946 to Jennie and the late Peter Nowick Sr. of Huntington, Nowick was a Port Jefferson resident who had lived in Smithtown for most of his life.

"He enjoyed spending many happy boyhood days on the Kings Park potato farm of his paternal grandparents, Frank and Anna Nowick," his sister, Andrea Nowick Nunn of Blue Hill, Maine, recalled in an emailed statement. "Through them and his maternal grandparents, Ignatz and Rose Zaetz, he developed a deep appreciation for his Russian heritage, which culminated in the fulfillment of a lifelong dream when he visited St. Petersburg, Russia in 2002 with his uncle Walter and his sister Andrea and her husband Tom, where he made many Russian friends."

Back home, Nowick was also a sports enthusiast, playing golf, lacrosse and soccer, scuba diving with his two daughters, Dana and Kerry Nowick, both of St. James, and hunting.

Nowick attended St. Anthony's High School when it was located in Smithtown, and graduated from Washington and Lee University. From there he entered the insurance field, becoming a principal in the Crafts, Smith, Nowick & Goodwin firm, and later heading Three Village Bennett. He was also a principal in United Mortgage Corporation of Hauppauge.

In addition to Nunn, his mother and his daughters about whom he once wrote, "When I pass on, I will know that I have left this world a better place because of my two girls" Nowick is survived by another sister, Kim Horton of Blue Hill; his aunts Vera Severino of Kings Park, Olga Schettini of Blue Hill and Louise Zaetz of Las Vegas; his uncles Theodore Nowick of Oberlin, Ohio and Walter Nowick of Surry, Maine; his cousins Belvina Pavese, Natalie Sedgwick, Jacqueline Renshaw, Anna McAuley, Vera Baker, John Babski, Joseph Babski, William Baker, Robert Baker, James Baker, Zena Cymbalski, Juliana Collier, Paulette Wetmore, Paul Schettini, Pamela Richard, Edward Zaetz Jr. and Susan Zaetz; and his nieces Jenna and Kara Horton.

He also leaves behind the following special friends: McGrath, Vecchio and his wife, Bernadine, their sons Joey and Frankie Kender, Van Stamatiadis, Chrissy Holmes, Sue Liguori, Kristen Neary, Susan Carricato, Nicholas Barbato, Robert Malito, James Tsunis, Robert Taylor, Ed and Maggie Gosselin, Gail Tharp, Vito Poveromo and Barbara Kennedy.

Services for Nowick were handled by the St. James Funeral Home, and a memorial service will be held in Blue Hill this month.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Peter Nowick Jr. Scholarship Fund at St. Anthony's High School, 275 Wolf Hill Road, South Huntington, NY 11747.

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