Danbury CT - Eric Halbekath Sr. 72 passed away in his sleep in the comforts of his own home on September 11, 2018 with is loving wife by his side.
Born January 17th, 1947 in the Bronx NY and later residing in Carmel NY and then Danbury CT.
Eric served in the United States Army from 1967 and was stationed in Germany, often pulling long patroles in the bitter winter cold. He returned home in 1968 and remained in the Army reserves until he was honorably discharged on August 9th 1972. In 1969, Eric joined the New Rochelle Police Department as an police officer while taking night courses at the New York Institute of Technology where he would graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Psychology.
In 1982, Eric was badly injured in a car chase when he and his partner, Officer Gary Pagano, who were chasing two robbery suspects down the New England Thruway when the police cruiser they were driving were knocked into a disabled car on the side of the road. Eric had suffered numerous near terminal injuries. His beloved partner and friend Officer Pagano did not survive the accident becoming the 1st member of NRPD to be killed in the line of duty since 1977. As we recognize Lieutenant Halbekath’s bravery, we equally honor Gary Pagano and keep his wife and two daughters in our thoughts and prayers during this time.
Eric did survive the accident and was given the opportunity to retire from the police force at ¾ pay; an option given to officers severely injured on the job. Police work was his passion so, instead of early retirement, he would proudly serve the NRPD for another 20 years, elevating as high as the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Eric “Lieu” Halbekath would often tell friends and family that, if it wasn’t for his badly injured knees and collarbone, he would have stayed in that job for another 4 or 5 years.
Eric was a avid music fan, amassing a large collection of vinyl albums, cassettes, and CDs of rock-n-roll from the 60’s and 70’s. No bigger presence in his collection was Elvis Presley rock-n-roll days and gospel music.
He also loved playing tennis with his family and played racquetball at the local YMCA whenever he found the time.
Eric is survived by Joanne Halbekath, devoted wife of 46 years. As a semi-retired nurse of 19 years, Joanne was able to assist in his care from the comforts of their own home, even during the most difficult times battling Alzheimer’s Disease. Joanne’s “sister from another mister”, Norka Mota, was also pivotal in his care. Norka was hired as a nurse aid but soon became so much more to the Halbekath family; offering not only hard work and devotion to her job, but offering her unlimited compassion and comfort.
Eric Sr. is also survived by his daughter Joy Halbekath-Castro, his cherished grandson Aidan Halbekath-Castro, and son Eric Halbekath Jr.
Visiting hours will be at at Balsamo-Cordovano Funeral Home in Carmel NY, on Friday September 14th at 2pm to 4pm, and then 7pm to 9pm. Funeral Services will be at Trinity Lutheran Church in Brewster NY, on Saturday September 15th at 11am. Interment will follow at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Putnam Valley NY.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s association. https://www.alz.org/