Retired Orangetown, New York, police Detective Lieutenant Frank D. Youngman died Sunday (29 April 2007). He was 73.
Youngman, a police officer for 33 years, was known for his no-nonsense pursuit of criminals and a sense of humor that belied his serious manner.
“He was kind of a stern guy to work for, but he was a fair guy,” Orangetown Detective Tom Hoffman said. “He had a lot of natural instincts for the job. He taught me a lot when I was a patrol officer and when I became a detective, as well.”
Sheriff James Kralik described Youngman as Rockland's “Joe Friday,” the TV police officer whose trademark comment was, “Just the facts.”
“He had short cropped hair and always had a serious manner on the job,” Kralik said. “He was well-respected in the police community.”
Kralik said Youngman also had a great sense of humor and could keep an audience laughing with his one-liners. “He was the Henny Youngman of law enforcement,” Kralik said.
Hoffman recalled one of Youngman's humorous stunts. He found a child's toy truck in the road and slapped it with a ticket, Hoffman said. “Frank did it as a joke and for whatever reason not everyone thought it was funny,” Hoffman said. “Unfortunately I wasn't able to work longer with him.”
Two of Youngman's sons became police officers. Lee Youngman is a Ramapo police detective; Frank Youngman is an Orangetown patrol officer and spent several years on the Spring Valley force. Two of Lee Youngman's sons are Ramapo police officers.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, Youngman moved to the Happy Valley School children's home in Pomona six years later. In 1951, at 17, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and fought in the Korean War.
He received two Bronze Stars for valor and two Purple Hearts, Lee Youngman said yesterday.
Youngman met his future wife, Joyce, at the Happy Valley children's home. They were married for 52 years and had eight children, 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
After serving in Korea, Youngman worked for three years as a lineman for Rockland Light and Power, now Orange and Rockland Utilities Inc.
Orangetown Police Chief Red Lewis recruited him to the force in 1956. He was promoted to sergeant in 1969 and joined the detective bureau as a sergeant in 1971.
In an interview with The Journal News after his retirement in January 1990, Youngman said one of his proudest moments as a police officer came on April 30, 1973.
On that day he captured two suspects 20 minutes after they killed two men on the Palisades Interstate Parkway.
“I figured they'd be heading south, and sure enough their car broke down and they abandoned it on 9W,” he told the paper. “I was in my unmarked car and I radioed in that I saw them walking north on 9W. I asked if they wanted a ride and they got in.
“I drove for a little while and said I thought I had a flat tire,” he said. “I got out of the car and walked around it, opened the door on their side and grabbed them.”
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Thursday at American Legion Kearsing Post. Youngman will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
YOUNGMAN, FRANK D
PFC US MARINE CORPS
- DATE OF BIRTH: 12/05/1933
- DATE OF DEATH: 04/29/2007
- BURIED AT: SECTION 33 SITE 7573
ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard