David S. Brandt, 75, passed away on March 26, 2020, at home with his loving wife Barbara by his side.
He was born on Aug. 2, 1944, in Oneonta.
David graduated from Oneonta High School, Class of 1962. While in high school, he sported the popular hair ducks which continued throughout his life. He sang in a doo-wop group, played trumpet in the school band, and was delighted to have the opportunity to play the grand piano at Carnegie Hall. Later in life he was honored to blow trumpet with Louis Armstrong. Dave enjoyed big band and jazz music, and effortlessly sat at the piano “noodling” chords and creating beautiful music.
David worked in construction for a period of time where he was involved in the building of the Gilboa Dam. He worked for many years as a tool & die designer at Bendix in Sidney, where his designs resulted in many patents for the company.
David was an avid outdoorsman and very much enjoyed hunting as well as caring for and feeding the animals that came into his backyard, although his true passion was dry-fly fishing. “BG” could be spotted in the spring with his campaign hat in streams of the East and West Branches of the Delaware River, along with other rivers in the Catskills and the Adirondacks. He was known as “The Legend” by his friends and the fly fishing community. He had an incredible wealth of knowledge when it came to fly fishing, and had a collection of fly fishing books, rods and reels from some of the most esteemed and respected fly fishermen in the world. David enjoyed sharing his passion with others, teaching at the renowned Wulff School of Fly Fishing in Livingston Manor, for over 30 years. He was also a guide and taught fly fishing in Labrador, Canada. He loved to travel across the country and around the world to participate in fly fishing shows. David was instrumental in establishing The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in Livingston Manor, part of the fly fishing center of the U.S. which is Roscoe, New York. David became a part of many illustrations, magazines, books, videos, movies and organizations. Including: creating many instructional videos on tying flies, having the Dave Brandt Trout Unlimited Chapter named in his honor, illustrating a fly fishing book that was written by his friend, Hoagy Carmichael Jr., 1977, and most recently was featured in a Catskill fly fishing documentary titled “Land of Little Rivers,” which is due for release in May of this year and of which he was very proud to be a part of. He was also inducted into the Fly Fishing Hall of Fame as one of the Legends of Catskill fly fishing. He was the inventor of the Dave Brandt Tied & True Hackle Gauge.
David was also a bit of a pool shark. As a young person, he was known to hitchhike to New York City to watch what he called “The Big Sticks.” He refereed pool tournaments, his last being in January this year at Turning Stone Casino.
One of his favorite recent pastimes was heading to the Black Oak Tavern on a Friday afternoon no matter the weather. He enjoyed nothing more than to reminisce with many of his old friends, a few new friends and sometimes his son and sit back and enjoy a New Castle ale with them all.
David is survived by his wife, Barbara (Neill) Brandt whom he married at the Oneonta First United Methodist Church on Sept. 16, 1995; his son, David M. Brandt; grandsons Tucker and Austin Brandt; his daughter, Deborah (Patrick) Prendergast, granddaughter, Rebecca (Shane) Lanahan, grandson, P.J. Prendergast; the mother of his children, Cheryl (Wart) Newton; stepchildren David Michael (Dee) Palombo, Terry A. (Dave) Dundon, and Karen K. (Ralph) Bidwell and their families; his siblings, William Wells, John Wells, J.R. Wells, and Robert Wells, as well as many nieces, nephews, and long-time close friends and acquaintances...too many to list.
He was predeceased by his mother, Adelaide (Escher) and stepfather, John Wells; his father, George Brandt, his brother, Geoffrey Brandt, his sister, Marilyn Ruth Gerowe, and beloved granddaughter, Sarah Rosaleen Prendergast.
Two celebrations of David’s life are being planned: one locally in Oneonta and the other at The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum in Livingston Manor. Dates for both celebrations are to be determined.
Donations in David’s memory may be sent to: The Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum, PO Box 1295, Livingston Manor, NY 12758; www.cffcm.com.
Arrangements are entrusted with the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta. Expressions of sympathy may be made at www.lhpfuneralhome.com.