Ronald J. Bollmeyer
Died October 6, 2007

Former Staten Islander Ronald J. Bollmeyer, a retired firefigher who loved Italian opera, died Saturday in Bradenton Fla. following complications from cancer. 

Born in New Orleans, he was raised in Brooklyn where he mastered the art of stickball, his family said - before moving to Mariner Harbor in the early 1950s.   He relocated to Florida in 1986.

Mr. Bollmeyer served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953, taking part in the post-war rebuilding of Berlin, Paris, Denmark and Italy.

He appointed to the FDNY in 1959, and a year later was assigned to Ladder Co. 9 in Manhattan's Lower East Side.   During his tenure there, he performed two major rescues and received a Class B reward, his family said.

In 1967 he aced the lieutenant's exam, and was promoted in 1969, earning a post at Battalion 31 in Brooklyn.  In 1971, he was transferred to Ladder Co. 18 in Manhattan, and then to Engine Co. 159, Dongan Hills.

During his stint on Staten Island, he took and passed the captain's exam, and was promoted in 1977, with an assignment to Division 10.  In 1979, he was named company commander of Ladder Co. 118 in Brooklyn.

He retired from the Brooklyn house in 1983.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Bollmeyer also moonlighted as a bodyguard for world premier opera singers at the Metropolitan Opera in Manhattan, during which he developed a lifelong love of Italian opera.

Mr. Bollmeyer remained active after his retirement, as well, working as head of housekeeping at Staten Island Univerity Hospital, Ocean Breeze, until he relocated to Florida in 1986.

When he got to the Sunshine State, he became an avid beachcomber, and enjoyed golf and fishing.  He was also fond of oil painting beaches and lighthouses.

He also adored his pet cat, Missfit.

His family remembered him for his strength, persevering through heart disease, two strokes and cancer.

"he never gave up," said his daughter, Lyn Bollmeyer. "He was a tireless example of bravery and quiet dignity."

His son, Dr. Paul Bollmeyer, died last year.

In addition to his daughter, Lyn, surviving is his former wife, Marie Del Priore; another daughter, Lorie Honor; his sister, Mildred Genco and two grandsons.

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