Former East Rockaway Fire Department Chief Gene Torborg dies at 63


Dozens of firefighters and local residents attended the funeral of former East Rockaway Fire Department Chief Gene Torborg on Tuesday.

Torborg died on Dec. 6 at age 63. He was a proud member of the ERFD, having served the community for 45 years, serving as chief from 1995-96. During his time with the department, Torborg served with many members of his family, including his four children. His son, Gene Jr., served as fire chief from 2016-17.

In addition to serving in the ERFD, Torborg joined his family’s East Rockaway-based auto repair business after high school and operated it until he retired in 2014. During his career there, he worked with his father, Eugene, his brother, Douglas, who was a former captain of the ERFD, and his son Gene, as well as many other family members and friends.

In a joint statement announcing his death, the chiefs of the ERFD and members of Vigilant Engine Company No. 1 described Torborg as “a pillar of the East Rockaway community.”

Visitation for Torborg took place at Perry Funeral Home in Lynbrook on Sunday and Monday. Firematic services were held also held Monday, and a funeral service at Perry took place on Tuesday. He was buried at the Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.

In addition to his son Gene and brother Douglas, Torborg is survived by his wife, Susan; his children Scott, Gregg and Suzanne; his grandchildren Tara, Kaylee, Kyle, Connor, Declan and Arthur; and his sisters, Terry and Janis. Gregg was a former captain of the ERFD, Suzanne was a firefighter in the department and Scott was a firefighter in the West Islip Fire Department.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to the Nassau County Firefighters Burn Center or the American Diabetes Association.