Ralph E. DeBolt
GENEVA-Ralph E. DeBolt, 69, of Geneva passed away on Sunday (March 10, 2019) at the House of John in Clifton Springs.

Following Ralph's wishes, there will be no prior calling hours. Private funeral services and burial in Brookside Cemetery will be held at the convenience of the family.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wilmot Cancer Center, Golisano Children's Hospital, Geneva Firematics or Thrive to Survive.

Ralph was born on Sept. 26, 1949, in Penn Yan the son of the late Kenneth and Mary Tobin DeBolt. He was active in the Seneca County 4H, serving as the president of the group's equestrian club for a number of years. He earned national recognition when he was presented with the I Dare You Award by the American Youth Foundation.

Ralph graduated from DeSales High School in 1967. He completed a carpenter's apprenticeship and worked several jobs-including as a carpenter for the family business, DeBolt Construction-before finding his life's work as a public servant.

Ralph committed most of his adult life to the fire service. He was a life member of the C.J. Folger Hook & Ladder Company, joining the Geneva Fire Department in 1969. As a volunteer firefighter, he served as lieutenant, captain, vice president, and president of the Hook & Ladder. He was active in the company's committee structure, most notably chairing the committee that produced the Hooks' 100th anniversary book in 1986.

In 1973, Ralph was appointed to Geneva's career firefighting staff, and in 1982, he was promoted to training officer. In 1986, Ralph was named acting fire chief and rose to chief of the department a year later. As chief, he ushered in a wide-range of improvements to the city's emergency services, including building a new fire house, purchasing more advanced apparatus and firefighting equipment, and bringing enhanced 9-1-1 service to Geneva.

Ralph completed a wide range of courses at the New York State Academy of Fire Sciences and the National Fire Academy and shared his knowledge as a New York State Fire Instructor and as an adjunct instructor at the State Fire Academy.

Ralph's commitment to the fire service extended far beyond Geneva. He served Ontario County as a volunteer deputy fire coordinator and was active in the Ontario County Fire Chiefs' Association, the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs, the Career Fire Chiefs of New York State and the International Association of Arson Investigators.

Ralph retired as chief of the Geneva Fire Department in 2005. In retirement, he enjoyed playing golf, watching his grandchildren compete in youth sports and completing home improvement projects for his children.

Ralph is survived by his daughter, Michelle (Andy Wayne) DeBolt of Geneva; his son, Kenneth (Janine) DeBolt of Geneva; grandchildren Emily and Joseph DeBolt; sister, Janice (Edward) McGuigan of Geneva; brother, Gary (Gwen) DeBolt of Fort Ann; sister-in-law, Janet DeBolt of Waterloo; and several nieces and nephews.

Ralph was predeceased by his parents Kenneth and Mary; brother, Carl DeBolt; sister and brother-in-law Joyce and John Nolan.

For tributes and condolences to the family, please visit; www.mcguiganberofuneralhome.com
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by Finger Lakes Times on Mar. 13, 2019.
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9 Entries
Debolt Family
Sincere condolences very sorry for your loss Peter R Farr
March 18, 2019
Wonderful memories with Ralph during my time in the C J Folger Hook and Ladder Company. Ralph was a great person and dedicated public servant. He will be missed! My condolences to all the family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Michael Crough
March 17, 2019
Ralph trained Clifton Springs FD when we had our first ladder truck. He was well thought of by everyone. Bud Farnsworth Past Chief CSFD
March 13, 2019
My deepest sympathiesto Michelle and Ken.
Pete Readel
March 13, 2019
Ralph was a classmate at DeSales. A fine person, life took me away from Geneva 50 years ago. God bless you my friend.
March 13, 2019
Ralph you light sure shone bright. God bless! Love you cousin.
Cheryl (Tobin) Ufholz
March 13, 2019
Nancy Hamm
March 13, 2019
Janice, Gary, Janet, family & families; am so sorry 2 read about Ralph's passing. I'm so sorry that he was so ill & that i didnt know so I could bring him some hope, comfort & prayers. I'm so saddened for all of you. HE was a great man. My heart aches for all of you through this heart wrenching time. I've thought of all of you many times, praying. Wish we all stayed connected more but life seems to be so busy with raising families, jobs, taking care of parents, family & then our own aging. I reminisce our growing up yrs & dad bringing us to visit his sister, our Aunt Mary & Uncle Ken & us kids playing with all of you. We were big families & lots of cousins. I love you folks & am so sorry for your loss. I believe in the Lord's love & HEAVEN where Ralph is the happiest he's ever been. He's clothed in GLORIOUS splendor, embraced by OUR BELOVED, BLESSED LORD & seeing other loved ones/friends that went b 4 him. If I can help in any way, PLZ let me know. God bless you! RIP dear cousin Ralph till we all meet again. Love you!
Cheryl (Tobin) Ufholz
March 13, 2019
So sorry for your loss. As cousins years ago we use to visit at the farm and play together. Jannie, Gary and families our prayers for comfort are with you all. Mike and Mary Tobin family of Lyons
March 12, 2019
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