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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 42
Year of Death: 2017

William N. Tolley

Firefighter William “Billy” Tolley was born on July 19, 1974, and tragically died on April 20, 2017, after falling to his death from the roof of a five-story building. Billy was appointed to the FDNY on September 14, 2003, spending his career as a member of Ladder 135. Before he was able to join the FDNY, Billy was a volunteer firefighter with the Hicksville Fire Department, Rescue 8, attaining the rank of lieutenant. In 2011, he joined the Bethpage Fire Department and was assigned to Ladder Company 3.

Billy was very passionate about his family, firefighting, drumming, and traveling. As tragic as it was that his life was cut short, he was able to achieve all of his passions. He also loved donating to various charities, mostly giving to veterans and children.

Billy met his wife, Marie, while working for FedEx, as he delivered packages to her office in 2000, and not too long after meeting they started dating. They married in the Bahamas in 2008 and had their daughter, Isabella, in 2009. As a family, they loved the beach, road trips, amusement parks, and ice cream.

Billy was an amazing drummer and was in a death metal band, “Internal Bleeding,” which formed in 1991 and released their debut album, Voracious Contempt, in 1995. His tours took him all over the world.

On September 16, 2017, a street renaming ceremony was held at the intersection of Acme and Crestline Avenues in Bethpage, a short distance from where the Tolley family lives. Also approved was a street renaming near Billy’s firehouse, Ladder 135, that is scheduled for September 26, 2018.

Billy will be remembered as a loving father and dedicated firefighter. He is survived by his wife, Marie, and 8-year-old daughter, Isabella; his mother, Marie DeCillis, and stepfather, Frank DeCillis; his father, Bob Tolley, and stepmother, Marian Tolley; and his brother, Bobby, and sister-in-law, Amy. He will be extremely missed by his entire family and his lifelong friends and will always be remembered by the amazing memories each one has and his infectious smile.

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  1. Still doesn’t seem real. RIP Bill, your brothers at the FDNY got it from here (so there is no misunderstanding I am not a firefighter). You and your drumming will never be forgotten.

    – Kris stevenson
  2. Heroes without the caps. You will truly be missed. I just drove pass the memorial right before you get on the Jackie Robinson Parkway and I immediately googled your name and your story touched my heart. Ever since I saw the movie “Ladder 49” I have a different type of respect for firefighters and I believe you went on doing something that you loved.

    – Thomasina
  3. Requiem æternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace. Amen.

    – Don W.
  4. how was just searching Facebook for my friend and reminiscing with myself the memories that I had of him it’s been a long time. Miss you, brother.

    – Guy