Wayne Andrew Brandes, 77, of Rhinebeck, NY passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, March 6, 2022.
Wayne was born in Queens, NY, on January 21, 1945. He was the son of the late John and Lillian (Hebert) Brandes of New York, NY and Ste. Agathe, ME, respectively. He was one of five siblings, including the late John Brandes, the late Lorraine Kremenick, the late Kenneth N. Brandes, and Elaine DelBene.
Wayne attended Thomas A. Edison Vocational and Technical School in Queens, NY. After earning his GED, he worked in NYC as an ice cream truck driver and taxi driver. He knew the city streets like the back of his hand, and this is undoubtedly why.
Wayne enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on October 23, 1963 at the age of eighteen. He told stories of his boot camp experiences at Camps LeJeune (NC, 1963) and DelMar (CA, 1963), as well as his time in The Marine Security Guard School (VA, 1964-67) with great pride and deep emotion. These years were so impressionable on him that he recalled such detail in these memories as if it were yesterday. Anyone who was lucky enough to hear these stories likely learned a thing or two that they could carry with them throughout their own lives.
His Military Occupational Specialty as an Aircraft Mechanic equipped Wayne with the knowledge and skills he had to fix anything; knowledge and skills that he proudly and lovingly passed on to his children and grandchildren as his “little helpers.” On August 6th, 1965, Wayne was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and was soon stationed in Italy, serving as a Marine Corps Security Guard at the United States Embassy in Rome. He was honorably discharged on October 22, 1967. Wayne prided himself on being a Marine. “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” he would say. And it was true. He lived his whole life by the three core values of the Marine Corps: Honor, Courage and Commitment.
Wayne was a 52 year member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. From 1978-1995 he worked as an electrician with Local Union #3 for many companies, most notably Fischbach & Moore. He was Foreman or General Foreman on numerous job sites across New York City, such as Columbia University, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, New York Transit Authority, and the World Trade Center. One of his proudest accomplishments was the installation of the electronic toll collection system for Amtech and TBTA, aka, EZ-PASS.
Wayne was a well-known resident of Rhinebeck. If he wasn’t at home tinkering or tending to his fruit trees, he could likely be found at Williams Lumber or Pete’s Famous Diner. He was a beloved member of the Sepasco Village Community for over 43 years. He spearheaded many of the beautification projects of the lake and served on the Sepasco Village Board for many years. He was an outgoing and dependable neighbor, always willing to lend a helping hand. He was everyone’s go to guy for anything that needed fixing. He will be deeply missed in the community.
Wayne’s second home was Ste. Agathe, ME, where he spent his summers as a child and where his many Hebert family members reside. Wayne was never happier than when he was fishing on Long Lake, in summer or winter, and spending time with his beloved cousins.
Wayne’s bright smile was one of a kind. That, and his playful personality will be remembered fondly by all. Those who knew Wayne knew he delighted in his garden, had a fervent love of Elvis and a passion for his purple hot rods. He was a colorful storyteller and an electric dancer. But perhaps his most defining characteristic was his big heart and how much he loved his family. He was an amazing father and an even greater Pop-Pop to his twelve grandchildren, who were the light of his life.
Wayne is survived by Eileen Brandes Meinsen of Rhinebeck; his five children, Kenneth Brandes and his wife Paula of Old Greenwich, CT, Wayne Brandes, Jr. and his wife Aimee of Port St. Lucie, FL, Brett Brandes and his wife Jennifer of Red Hook, NY, Deva Lapatas and her husband Panos of Derby, CT, and Jan Rita Rexhouse and her fiancé Peter of Rhinebeck, NY; and his dear grandchildren Audrey, Devin, Grace, Vance, Violet, Vynn-Vegas, Lillian, Alexandra, Leandros, Ethan, Jackson and Hudson as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Memorial calling hours will be held at the Dapson-Chestney Funeral Home, 51 W. Market St., on Saturday, April 2 from 10 AM to 2 PM.
A graveside service will be held at the Rhinebeck Cemetery with services by Fr. Crawford of Good Shepherd Church, the American Legion Post #429, and the Marine Corps Honor Guard following Memorial Hours.
Memorial donations in honor of Wayne can be made to The Arbor Day Foundation. This link will take you to “Trees in Memory” where you can have trees planted in his honor.
To send flowers to Wayne's family, please visit our floral store.