Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue| Warren Breit

Warren Breit knew he had to let go when his time arrived

CLEARWATER — Warren Breit always knew that life can be taken away. When it's your time, God will take you, he told his wife.

It was a lesson Mr. Breit and his wife, Millie, would learn all too well.

They met on a blind date. He was 21, from Queens, just out of three years in the Army. She was 19, from Brooklyn.

Early in their marriage, Mr. Breit dropped out of police training. His mother had died of cancer, his wife was pregnant, and he had a 13-year-old sister to raise.

"It was easier to lose a finger in the tool-and-die business than to lose your life," said Carmella Breit, 77.

While in his mid 30s, Mr. Breit opened a metal fabricating shop in Long Island. Amity Fabricators produced grocery store shelves and medical equipment, among other things. Fabricators sprayed powder paint on freshly manufactured parts, which were then baked at high temperatures.

It looked, and smelled, like an industrial plant. Mr. Breit spent countless hours there every week. His shop prospered.

He bought a 27-foot boat. He and Millie liked to anchor on Great South Bay, a lagoon separated from the Atlantic Ocean by Fire Island, where sailboats knife across the water and sunsets seem painted on the sky. Sometimes they took a motorized dinghy in to shore.

Mr. Breit enjoyed seafood restaurants, but he never drank there or anywhere else. For fun, he led Cub Scout groups and volunteered for 48 years with the Lions Club.

He parented and ran his business with a firm hand, always in control.

"When my father walked into a room, you knew who was in charge," said Robert Breit, 51.

But some things could not be controlled. A 4-year-old son, John, drowned in a canal. An infant, Christina, suffered heart defects and died in the hospital.

It was their time, Mr. Breit said.

Robert Breit called his parents' relationship passionate, and not just when they agreed.

"Trust me, when they fought, they fought," he said.

When asked by his Italian mother-in-law to convert to Catholicism, Mr. Breit held out until they changed the Mass from Latin to English.

Through the Catholic Church in the 1970s, they found Marriage Encounters, a couples workshop. The Breits eventually led workshops about communication and counseled couples in their home.

In retirement in Clearwater, Mr. Breit served as president of the Lions Club.

He was hospitalized in 2006 for congestive heart failure. After 16 months, Mr. Breit began to tire. He told his family it was his time. By a long-standing agreement, the family refused to force a feeding tube.

Mr. Breit died on Friday. He was 79.

Andrew Meacham can be reached at ameacham@sptimes.com or (813) 661-2431.

>>BIOGRAPHY

Warren G. Breit

Born: March 24, 1929.

Died: April 18, 2008.

Survivors: wife of 57 years, Carmella; a son, Robert George Breit; daughters, Karen Thomas, Janet Jernigan and Deidre Burchfield; sister, Muriel White; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Memorial service: 11 a.m. today, Moss Feaster Funeral Home, 693 S Belcher Road, Clearwater.

Warren Breit knew he had to let go when his time arrived 04/21/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 22, 2008 8:15pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump sprinkles political attacks into Scout Jamboree speech

    GLEN JEAN, W.Va. — Ahead of President Donald Trump's appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering's official blog: Fully hydrate. Be "courteous" and "kind." And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as "build …

    President Donald Trump addresses the Boy Scouts of America's 2017 National Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel National Scout Reserve in Glen Jean, W.Va., July 24, 2017. [New York Times]
  2. Trump, seething about attorney general, speculates about firing Sessions, sources say

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has spoken with advisers about firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as he continues to rage against Sessions' decision to recuse himself from all matters related to the Russia investigation.

  3. John McCain to return to Senate for health care vote

    WASHINGTON — The Senate plans to vote Tuesday to try to advance a sweeping rewrite of the nation's health-care laws with the last-minute arrival of Sen. John McCain — but tough talk from President Donald Trump won no new public support from skeptical GOP senators for the flagging effort that all but …

  4. Last orca calf born in captivity at a SeaWorld park dies

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — The last killer whale born in captivity under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program died Monday at the company's San Antonio, Texas, park, SeaWorld said.

    Thet orca Takara helps guide her newborn, Kyara, to the water's surface at SeaWorld San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas, in April. Kyara was the final killer whale born under SeaWorld's former orca-breeding program. The Orlando-based company says 3-month-old Kyara died Monday. [Chris Gotshall/SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment via AP]
  5. Blake Snell steps up, but Rays lose to Orioles anyway (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Blake Snell stepped up when he had to Monday and delivered an impressive career-high seven-plus innings for the Rays. That it wasn't enough in what ended up a 5-0 loss to the Orioles that was their season-high fifth straight is symptomatic of the mess they are in right now.

    Tim Beckham stands hands on hips after being doubled off first.