Robert Ortiz was born March 9,1949 to Gloria and Roger Ortiz of New York City. Raised on the lower east side of Manhattan he was a typical city kid. The streets of the lower east side were his playground and there he enjoyed playing inner city games like stickball, skulleys, and scooter racing. His Sundays were pretty typical, spending whatever cash he earned from his newspaper route or riding his bike with friends “up to Central Park” The highpoint of his summers were devoted to swimming at the 23rd st. pool and taking excursions out of the city courtesy of the Boys Club. Some of his fondest childhood recollections were swimming and fishing up at Lake George. At (not quite)18 years of age he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp, he trained at Parris Island and consequently served for two tours in Viet Nam where he distinguished himself as a radio operator. He was wounded in action, and earned several decorations, including the Purple Heart. He returned to the States as a Corporal in 1969.
He married his wife Barbara in June 1970. Their union produced one child, their daughter Melody, who pre-deceased him in 2017. Her death broke his heart and forever altered his outlook on life. He was never quite the same after she died.
In 1971, he trained as a EMT and became a medic with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. He spent 13 years providing emergency medical care to the residents of Manhattan. His skill and dedication were credited in providing life saving interventions in multiple events. He received several awards for meritorious service from the NYC Health & Hospitals Corporation.
In January 1984 he proudly joined the New York City Police Department. That appointment was the culmination of a childhood dream for Bob. He was assigned to several precincts during his tenure, and was working in the Bronx on September 11, 2001. That day proved itself as life defining event for all of the Emergency Services Staff in New York City, and Bob was no exception. He along with his fellow Officers clamored to respond, and respond they did, not only on that infamous day, but routinely thereafter, during the ensuing months of recovery. Bob spent his entire lifetime in the service of others, his kindness, generosity, and sense of humor defined who he was as a man, and what you might expect in any daily exchange with him. He will be missed by all who knew him.
May God Rest His Soul.
Visiting will be held on Saturday from 12 noon until 5 PM and 6 PM to 9 PM at the Hannemann Funeral Home, Inc. in Nyack. A funeral service will take place at 3 PM at the funeral home.