Alfred LiCausi, 96, founder of the Farmingdale Music Center—Long Island’s oldest music store—passed away peacefully on Dec. 14, 2014, after more than 70 years in the business.
LiCausi first moved to Long Island in 1922, when he was just four years old. “At a very young age, he was already starting to play piano,” his son Frank said.
LiCausi started to develop a deep-rooted passion for music at an early age, primarily for the piano and accordion, which he played professionally. After attending Potsdam Teachers College, LiCausi worked for four years as a history teacher in the Bethpage School District, until 1945, when he inherited his childhood home at 135 Main St. and decided to convert it into a retail music store.
When the Farmingdale Music Center first opened, it was predominantly focused on retail, but gradually began to take on a more service-oriented role—providing instrument rentals and repairs. When LiCausi’s son, Frank graduated Five Towns College with a degree in musical instrument technology in 1977, he helped his father launch the music center’s on-premises repair facility. Five years later, Frank would officially take over the business from his father, who retired in 1982.
After his retirement, LiCausi continued to be an active participant in the Farmingdale Rotary Club and was made a Paul Harris Fellow.
Towards the end of his life, LiCausi lived at the Daleview Care Center, where he would continue to entertain others with sing-alongs and other performances. He even gave lessons to people who were tending to him.
“It was more than just having a business that was successful,” said LiCausi’s daughter-in-law Valerie. “He brought a legacy to Farmingdale.”