Ronnie E. Gies: Loved Giving, Not
of the most difficult times in Ronnie E. Gies's life came
two years ago, when his family's home in Merrick, on Long
Island, burned down.
It was not so much the destruction that upset
Firefighter Gies, 43, of Squad 288 in Maspeth, Queens,
but the fact that he was suddenly the recipient of favors
and good will from neighbors, instead of being the
benefactor. "It was very difficult for him to be
receiving and not giving," said his wife, Carol. "Someone
would call at 3 in the morning because their toilet was
clogged, and Ronnie was there."
Luckily, Firefighter Gies was also a carpenter. With a
little help, in six months he built the family a new
home, with a basement big enough to serve as hang-out
headquarters for his sons, Thomas, 18; Ronnie, 16; and
Robert, 14; and their friends.
A couple of years ago, Firefighter Gies took the
lieutenant's test, after studying for hours at the dining
room table. Recently, Mrs. Gies was told her husband had
been pegged for a promotion on Sept. 10. "It meant a lot
to him to be promoted," Mrs. Gies said. "He never