First Responders 04

John Robert Lorenz

June 11, 1921 ~ October 27, 2021 (age 100)


John Lorenz, “Uncle Bob”, of Cromwell, CT, died peacefully Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at the full age of 100 after a brief illness.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, on June 11, 1921, to Sophia, (nee Koenig) of Gottsche, Austria, and William Andreas Lorenz of Bavaria, Germany, Uncle Bob served his country as a Staff Sergeant in the Army Air Corps during WWII from April ’42 – December ’45 as a Control Tower Operator, then as an instructor of CTOs, assigned in Florida and the Aleutian Islands.

Before the war he lived in Canarsie, NY with his family of nine siblings, then in Livingston Manor, NY, during the depression when his family moved there to become dairy farmers.  He loved the hard work of farming and living off the land. He learned to commune with nature and always spoke of fond memories of “the farm”.

After the war he joined the Fire Department of New York City, serving with an engine company in Brooklyn, and then with the marine division as a lieutenant on the fire boat.  As many of our brothers and sisters in the FD, John narrowly escaped mortal injury, and he performed many rescues on land and water.

In the mid-1970s, he joined the U.S. Immigration Service and serving as an immigration officer at JFK airport in New York.  He screened and welcomed many immigrants to the shores of America.  One highlight was the honor and blessing of interviewing (Saint) Mother Theresa of Calcutta upon her arrival.

In his retirement, he spent many good years with friends and relatives, traveling and finally owning a small home in Florida.

John leaves behind a sister, Genevieve Wallace of Appleton, Wisconsin, his good friend and companion, Lucille Franco and her family, and many nieces and nephews now scattered throughout the USA.  He enjoyed a surprise 100th birthday party with many of them in June.

John most recently resided in assisted living at Covenant Living of Cromwell.  He often spoke of their kindness and alacrity in executing their responsibilities there.  We thank them for their kind attention during his stay there, and that of Home Instead companions and caregivers… all wonderful people.

John would sometimes say, “I must be in heaven – I’m being attended to by angels.”

Such was the extent of his gratitude.  We’ll miss you, Uncle Bob. Thank you!

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 1st at 10:00 am at Saint John Church, 5 Saint John Court, Cromwell.  Burial will be at 2:30 pm in Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah, NJ.

Family and friends may call on Sunday afternoon from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at the Cromwell Funeral Home, 506 Main Street, Cromwell.  In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the Benevolent Fund at Covenant Living of Cromwell, The Salvation Army, or The Franciscan Life Center of Meriden, CT, all of which John had close ties.  To share memories or send condolences to the family, please visit




To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Robert Lorenz, please visit our floral store.


October 31, 2021

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Mass of Christian Burial
November 1, 2021

10:00 AM
Saint John Church
5 Saint John Court
Cromwell, CT 06416

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