Robert Wallace of East Marion died October 1, 2017 with his family at his side. He was 65.
He was born on September 5, 1952 in Kew Gardens, Queens to Lester and Lillian Wallace. The man everyone affectionately called “Bobby” relocated to East Marion with his family shortly after his birth and lived there the rest of his life.
Predeceased by his parents, his grandson Benjamin Patrick and his brother-in-law Jeff, he is survived by his wife of 43 years Katherine; his children Gregory (Linda), Jacquelyn (Kurt), Nicole (Charles III); five grandchildren, Nicholas, Camden, Shane, Garrett and Charles IV; and siblings Linda and Gary. He also leaves behind his father- and mother-in-law John and Helen Heaney as well as the rest of the Heaney Family.
He worked at East End Marine as a truck driver, salesmen and a customer service representative for over 40 years. After retiring from East End Marine, he spent a short stint Peconic Landing in the transportation department, earning Employee of the Month in May of 2016. Bobby was a fixture as a weeknight bartender at Skipper’s in Greenport for over 15 years, where he developed a niche following. In addition he was a devoted communicant and volunteer at St. Agnes Church in Greenport.
Bobby joined fire service in 1970 at the age of 18 when he was voted into the East Marion Fire Department. During the subsequent 47 years Bobby dedicated himself to the protection of life and property in Southold Town. During the course of his nearly five-decade tenure in the fire service, Bob had a short detour as a member of the Standard Hose Co. and the Greenport Rescue Squad from 1974-1978, but the rest of the time was spent as a loyal and faithful member of East Marion FD.
Over the course of his distinguished career in East Marion, in addition to receiving numerous awards and commendations, he served as an EMT, rescue squad officer, head driver, chief of department and commissioner. Bob got to see his son follow in his footsteps as chief of department, but what was undoubtedly his proudest moment as a member of East Marion was the day he watched his grandson Nicholas voted in as a member of the department, thus cementing the Wallace family alongside the proud, but fading tradition of multigenerational service to the East Marion Fire Department.
On the other hand his proudest moment as a father was walking his daughter Jackie down the aisle, and even though he missed out on doing that for his daughter Nicole, she needs to know that he wanted nothing more for her than to be happy and he will be with her always.
Bobby had a few interesting idiosyncratic personality traits. He would give you the shirt off his back and absolutely drive you nuts in the process. Bobby also loved to laugh and tell jokes, and the majority of them were funny. It was well known that if you laughed at the first joke more were coming. But for all his flaws there was never any maliciousness behind his motivation. He was a dedicated father, son, grandfather, brother, uncle and brother-in-law and devoted husband to the love of his life, Katherine.
Every marriage has there ups and downs but their relationship is the embodiment of the vows “for better or worse”, “in sickness in health” and “until death do us part.” Their unyielding devotion to each other in good times and bad is a testament to what their marriage was: a true partnership in every sense of the word. Their love commitment to each other was just as strong at the end as it was 43 years ago when they exchanged their vows on October 4, 1974.
Although so many are devastated by the loss of Bobby, there will come a day when a smile comes to their face before a tear comes to their eye when they think of him. Just by saying his name . . Bobby . . . you can’t help but crack a smile.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to, Benjamin Patrick Wallace Memorial Scholarship c/o Gregory Wallace, 9 Red Oak Court, Calverton, NY 11933.