Lt. Col. THEODORE FEIMER, Sr., a son of Roxbury
The Breezy Point Historical Society inducted Ted Feimer into the 2021 Hall of Fame. The son of German and Hungarian immigrants, Ted Feimer was commissioned in the United States Navy as a Second Lieutenant during World War Two and served in a transport capacity in Iceland. Following the war, he switched teams, so to speak, to another branch of the military and served as part of the United States Occupation Army in Germany’s Atlantic port city, Bremerhaven, for four years, joined by his wife Rose and their four children. Following that posting he was assigned to Fort Hamilton in Bay Ridge where he served as Provost Marshall, after which, almost drawn by fate, he was the Officer in Charge of Fort Tilden. During this latter period, the Feimers converted their summer bungalow in Roxbury into a winter residence. When the Korean conflict arose, he was assigned to be the Commanding Officer of a prisoner of war camp. He retired from active service in 1954 as a Lieutenant Colonel.
Ted Feimer Sr.’s life following his military service revolved around Roxbury which, during the 1950s, only had about seventy-five full time residents. He recalled that there were no streetlights at the time, and no provision for public safety. As a result, he organized Roxbury’s first neighborhood watch to be alert for prowlers in the largely empty community pre-existing the formation of the Breezy Point Cooperative and its development of security resources. He also served as Fire Chief of the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department. For its developing social life, being musically talented himself, he organized local musicians into the Boys Town Band to raise funds for Saint Genevieve’s Parish, then became a member of Roxbury’s Gladiola Band in which he participated into his 80s. He was a long-time member of the Roxbury People’s Association, for which he served as President and Chairman. He also served as Roxbury’s Mayor, an honorary local position which often follows enthusiastic, and even humorous, campaigns.
The transition from three small, relatively independent, communities on property owned by a landlord to a new form of quasi-municipal community, the Breezy Point Cooperative, required a leap of faith by many people and encouragement by others. His family members recall that Ted Feimer Sr. actively solicited support from Roxbury residents for the creation of the Coop. The fear of investing often scarce personal funds in the purchase of the property had to be overcome by assurances, and in Roxbury Ted Feimer Sr. provided those assurances that the Cooperative was the best way forward. With the formation of the Coop, he was elected as an independent to the Board of Directors. As many people who have served on the Coop’s Board and Committees know, matters that are discussed remain confidential. His family recalls, though, that Ted opted for a philosophy of writing a regular article titled “FARAGO” in a now-defunct newspaper, the Rockaway Record, in which he would relate to readers many of the issues that had been discussed by the Coop’s Board of Directors at recent meetings. His family recalls that he was especially attentive to issues involving Roxbury, perceiving itself to be the smallest of the three communities whose concerns might often be overlooked, to ensure that Roxbury, in their description, got its fair share. His family further recalls that as an active advocate for Roxbury, he was the go-to source for explanations and information involving the Coop’s rules and regulations. After his death, to honor his memory, Roxbury named Roxbury’s bayfront street “Ted Feimer Sr. Promenade.”