N.J. Naval base names street after Islander killed on

SI Advance - October 15, 2006


A Huguenot native and city firefighter who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks was honored over the summer with a street dedication at the naval base where he worked part time.

The road in front of the fire station at the Lakehurst (N.J.) Naval Air Engineering Station was dedicated Walz Road on July 31 in memory of Jeffrey Patrick Walz.

Walz, 37, a graduate of Tottenville High School, was assigned to Ladder Co. 9 in Manhattan's East Village.

When his company responded to Building 7 at the World Trade Center, Walz disappeared when the Twin Towers collapsed.

Known as a "gentle giant," Walz earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and spent five years as an engineer in the Navy before entering the Fire Department.

His career move was inspired by his father's 30-year career in the FDNY. Just before he died, Walz had passed the lieutenant's test.

However, Walz continued on part time at the Naval base, helping colleagues upgrade power systems on his days off.

"He was more than just a fireman, he wore two hats," said his mother, Jenny, who along with Walz's father, Raymond, still resides in Huguenot.

Born and raised in Huguenot, Walz spent several years in Bay Terrace as a young man before moving to Tuckahoe, in 1995.

The street-naming ceremony was hosted by Michael Lawlor, base director of engineering and public works.

Attending in addition to Walz's parents were his wife, Rani; his son, Bradley, 8; his brother, Raymond Jr.; his sister, Karen Ciaccio, and her husband, Phil, and their children, Matthew, 7; Julia Robbie, 1; and Lindsay, 4.

"Meeting his coworkers was one of the nicest thing to happen to the family since 9/11," said Mrs. Walz of the event for her son. "It meant a great deal to us."