Robert William Alexander, 43 died on Monday August 14 of brain cancer related to his work in the rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center following the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Born in Syosset, N.Y., on January 31, 1974, he was baptized at St Joseph’s R.C. Church in Kings Park. He attended St. Anthony’s of Padua R.C. elementary school in East Northport, N.Y., and made 1st Holy Communion at Our Lady of the Valley R.C. Church in Sheffield, Mass. He attended the Sheffield Center school and was confirmed at Our Lady of the Valley R.C.C church in 1990. Robert graduated in 1992 from Mount Everett Regional High School and in 1995 from SUNY Alfred.
Robert is the son of Alice V. “Ginger” Alexander and the late Raymond W. Alexander, brother to Raymond H.; nephew of Robert Monz, Elizabeth McCormick, Christopher Monz, and Carol Cass; uncle to Delaney Kellan Alexander, cousin of Karen Casserini, Lori LaPonte, Robert Cass, J.C. McCormick, Allison Monz and Jessica Monz
After college graduation Robert worked as a diesel engine and heavy duty truck mechanic around the Berkshires.
In 1997 he was hired at Cummins Metro Power in the Bronx, N.Y., as a diesel engine mechanic.
In May of 1999 Robert was hired by to the New York City Fire Dept. Bureau of EMS as an EMT and assigned to Jacobi Hospital EMS Station # 20 in the Bronx.
In March of 2000 he was hired and appointed as police officer in the NYC Police Department, and after graduation from the NYC Police Academy Robert was assigned to the 104th precinct in Middle Village Queens, the Manhattan traffic task force and police service area #5 in East Harlem. At home and on his morning off on September 11th 2001 he reported to his precinct in East Harlem and then went onto the World Trade Center. From September 11th, 2001 until January of 2002 he worked at the World Trade Center site, the Erie Basin auto tow pound in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, N.Y.
In January of 2002, following in the footsteps of his father Raymond W. and his grandfather Raymond S., Robert was appointed to firefighter in the fire department of the City of New York, and was assigned to ladder company 45 in the Washington Heights neighborhood of upper Manhattan. As a fireman Robert also worked in victim recovery at the World Trade Center site. In April of 2006 Robert was promoted to Marine Wiper and was assigned to the Fireboats in the Marine Division at the Brooklyn Naval Yard. In October 2010 he was licensed and promoted to Assistant marine engineer and worked at the Brooklyn naval yard in Marine Company 6 aboard the Fireboats Kevin Kane, Alfred E Smith, Bravest and the William Feehan. In 2015 he was licensed and promoted to Chief Marine Engineer and assigned to Marine Co. 1 aboard the Fireboat Three Forty Three located on the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Since 2008 Robert was heavily involved in owner’s inspections and trials of New York City’s new fireboats. In 14 years Robert was twice cited for conspicuous duties and in October of 2016 Robert was retired due to the physical effects of brain cancer.
Retirement for Robert marked 80 continuous years and three generations of Alexander’s to serve the Fire Department of the City of New York.
Throughout his life Robert was a dog lover and took interest in snowboarding, forestry and the various applications of the diesel engine.
Family, friends and fellow firefighters are invited and may call on both Thursday August 17 and Friday, August 18 from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 State Route 22 in Copake, N.Y.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday August 19, 2017 at 11 a.m. from Our Lady of the Valley R.C. Church in Sheffield, Mass., with FDNY Fire Chaplain Christopher Keegan, OFM officiating.
Interment will be in Mt. Washington Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers kindly consider the Fire Family Transport Foundation in memory of Ret. Marine Engineer Robert W. Alexander Marine 1, PO Box 340949, Brooklyn, N.Y., or the Sean Patrick Tallon Memorial Scholarship Fund, 975 McLean Ave., P.M.B. #174, Yonkers, NY 10704.