Firefighter Richard J. Ardis passed away March 25.
Ardis was born April 21, 1930 in Harlem, one of six children. He trained as a boxer and fought in the “Golden Gloves” and became a welterweight champion of the 28th Infantry while serving in the US Army during the Korean War. Upon his return home from service, he married his childhood sweetheart, Christina. Married for 63 years, the two had three children, Toni Ann, Michael and Dominick. After moving to Westbury, Ardis joined the Westbury Fire Department in 1965.
He made many lifelong friends during his career as a meat-cutter.
He continued to be a member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Westbury Senior Citizens, The Donatello Sons of Italy and The Knights of Columbus. He is one of the “Money Makers” on the fire department’s fund drive committee and a member of the Southern NY Firemen’s Association and Nassau County Firemen’s Association.
Ardis, better known as “Poppy” was admired and loved by his grandchildren Nicole, Cristina, Victoria and Dylan and his new great grandson Edward James. Also his son-in-law Wiley and grand son-in-law Edward Murphy. His smile brightened the room and he was never afraid to share his feelings by saying “I Love You.” Ardis was a soft spoken individual who brought a true meaning of “gentleman” to all those who had the opportunity to know him throughout his many years of distinguished service.
—Westbury Fire Department