William “Billy” Gormley was born on May 25, 1964, in Brooklyn, New York, where he lived for the first 40 years of his life. He was happily married to his wife, Lizanne, for 27 years, and together they raised their daughter, Bridget, and their triplet sons, William Jr., Raymond, and Kevin.
After high school and in the wake of Desert Storm, Billy joined the United States Marine Corps. Upon his return, he continued to serve his country and community when he joined the FDNY in 1988. He spent the majority of his career at Ladder Company 174 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, until his retirement.
Billy always said that he had the greatest job in the world. His brother firefighters were an extension of his family. For him, he was never really off the job. Even on his days off he would follow local fire companies to a job. Billy was always the first to step up, to help, to be there. He knew his brothers needed him, and he was always there for them. Retirement was bittersweet for Billy, but he always remained close to the job, firehouse, and his brothers.
Billy and his family moved to Vermont, where he bought an old farmhouse; using his carpentry skills, he turned it into a beautiful home for his family. He participated in local politics and helped coach his sons’ football team for six years, helping lead them to a state championship.
On September 11, 2001, and throughout the following months, Billy helped in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. The devastation of the attacks left him, as well as his fellow first responders, with physical and emotional scars that never healed. The consequences of his time at Ground Zero would ultimately end his life far too early. Despite this, Billy would have done it all over again. He was a man of integrity, sacrificing his health and life to help others.
Ask anyone who knew Billy, and they will all tell you that he was a selfless and consistent man. He never had any complaints and was always happy to see you. Billy always made those he was with feel comfortable and welcome, treating everyone like an old friend. Despite his untimely passing, Billy’s memory is kept alive by his kind spirit, wisdom, and the impression he left on everyone lucky enough to know him.
Billy is deeply missed by his wife, Lizanne; his daughter, Bridget; his sons, Billy Jr., Raymond, and Kevin; his sisters, Dorothy, Katherine, and Maureen; his brother, James; his extended family that includes 26 nieces and nephews; and his countless friends.