Death of Major General John F. Bahrenburg, US National Guard

Obits for Life

John F. Bahrenburg, Major General and Commander of the New York Guard during the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, died Friday, Jan. 30, of metastatic bile duct cancer at his home in Poughkeepsie, NY. He was 79.

Major General John F. Bahrenburg

Major General John F. Bahrenburg

As Commander of the New York Guard from 1999-2002, during both the Y2K transition and the 9/11 attack, he oversaw the provision of security, disaster relief, legal, communications and other services in cooperation with the National Guard. Maj. Gen. Bahrenburg entered the guard in 1963. As Commander, he also oversaw the codification of New York Guard regulations, aligning them with regulations of the U.S. Army and National Guard.

In a June 2003 letter of commendation to Maj. Gen. Bahrenburg, Governor George Pataki said, “Since being commissioned into the Guard, you have demonstrated an unwavering sense of responsibility to the people of this State, and your vision and impressive achievements have enhanced the Guard’s effectiveness.”

He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1954-1958 and the active Air Force Reserve from 1958-1963. During his military career, he received many awards and recognitions, including the USAF Good Conduct Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal and the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal for exceptional conspicuous achievement while serving as Commander of the New York Guard during 9/11.

Born Johannes Friedrich Bahrenburg on April 17, 1935 in Fischerhude, Germany, near Bremen, he changed his name to John when he immigrated to the United States in 1953.

In civilian life, he was President of J.F. Bahrenburg, Inc., a plumbing, heating and general contracting business that he established in 1963. A member of the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of New York, Triune-Obed Lodge No. 782, he was a Master Mason for more than 50 years.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years Karen Bahrenburg; daughter Diane Cook and her husband Kevin, of Hyde Park, NY; daughter Kristi Janzen and her husband Bernd, of University Park, MD; a sister Gertrud Weiler; brother Gunter Bahrenburg; and five grandchildren.

Calling hours will be Sunday, Feb. 8, 2-6 pm, at Wm. G. Miller & Son Funeral Home Inc., 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie; phone (845) 485-0241. Funeral services will be Monday, Feb. 9 at 11 am, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, 55 Wilbur Blvd., Poughkeepsie, phone (845) 452-1550, followed by burial at New Paltz Rural Cemetery, 81 Plains Road, New Paltz. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. John’s Lutheran Church, Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust, or the National MS Society.

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