Roland "Bob" Urfirer passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 27 , 2014 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, as a result of natural causes. Bob was 93 years old.
Bob was born in Torrington, Connecticut on April 19, 1921 and moved to Lake Placid when he was 6 months old. He was the only child of the late Isadore and Bessie Urfirer. Bob attended Lake Placid Central School from kindergarten through 12th grade and graduated as the valedictorian of his class in 1938. He went on to Harvard College where he graduated cum laude, with a degree in Government in 1942.
Bob joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 as an Ensign during World War II, and rose through the ranks to become a Lieutenant Senior Grade. During his years in the Navy, he participated in the landings at Iwo Jima, the Battle of Okinawa and mainland Japan shortly after the second Atomic Bomb was dropped. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946.
Roland ‘Bob’ Urfirer
After serving in the Navy, Bob returned to Cambridge, Massachusetts and enrolled in Harvard Law School.
He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1949 and for a short period of time worked at a law firm in Poughkeepsie, before returning home to practice law in Lake Placid. It was in Lake Placid that he met and courted the late Helene Block and on June 2, 1955 they were married.
Bob and Helene had two children: Michael Urfirer and the late Steven Urfirer.
Early in his career, Bob worked tirelessly at multiple jobs simultaneously. He was an attorney, ran a real estate business, Adirondack Properties Agency, and built and managed, along with his parents, the Golden Arrow Restaurant and Motel in Lake Placid. He was a member of the New York Bar Association, the Florida Bar Association, and the Essex County Bar Association and continued to practice law until his 93rd birthday in 2014.
Bob was very involved in the local community. He gave his time and intellect to make Lake Placid a better place to live and a great year round destination to visit. He was a member of the board of directors or the board of trustees of: Placid Memorial Hospital (President), village of Lake Placid, Northwood School, North Country School and Camp Treetops, Lake Placid Horse Show Association, Bank of Lake Placid, Key Bank of Central New York, Key Trust Company, Lake Placid Chamber of Commerce, Lake Placid Sinfonietta, and the Lake Placid Synagogue (President). In addition, he served as attorney for the Village of Lake Placid and the Lake Placid School Board.
He was a Republican State Committeeman, a member of the American Legion and a 32nd Degree Mason. He received the honor of being a torchbearer by carrying the Olympic torch to the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics opening ceremonies stadium as part of the worldwide Salt Lake 2002 Olympics torch relay and was presented with the "Key to the Olympic Village" for his 90th birthday in 2011.
His survived by his son, Michael J. Urfirer and his daughter-in-law, Doni Fordyce-Urfirer of Lake Placid and Greenwich, Connecticut and six grandchildren.
The memorial service was held on Aug. 29, 2014 at the Lake Placid Synagogue and the burial took place at the United Hebrew Community Cemetery.
Donations in memory of Roland M. Urfirer should be made to: Helene Urfirer Memorial Literacy Fund Inc. and sent to 9 Cobb Island Drive, Greenwich, CT 06830 or The Urfirer Fordyce Family Research Fellowship Fund at Mount Sinai. For The Urfirer Fordyce Family Research Fellowship Fund, donations should made to The Mount Sinai Health System and include on the check "In memory of Roland M. Urfirer." and sent to Mount Sinai Development Office, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1049, New York, NY 10029 The M.B. Clark, Inc. Funeral Home in Lake Placid, NY was in charge of arrangements.
Relatives and friends are invited to "light a candle" and share a story or leave online condolences at www.mbclarkfuneralhome.com.