Gary R. Box was born on May 12‚ 1964. He was raised by his parents and his grandmother Alyson Box who adored and encouraged him.
Gary attended Wantagh High School‚ where we first met. He was an excellent student who had no lateness or absence on his record. He maintained an A average‚ was an honor student and managed to accelerate and graduate a year early ranking 24 in a class of 391 students.
He attended Delehanty Automotive School and became an auto mechanic from 1984 till 1991. Although he was successful at this career it was not challenging enough for him and he needed a change.
He worked as a tile-setter for his cousins and though he thoroughly enjoyed their company and the trade‚ he wanted more. Upon recommendation from firefighter friends‚ he applied to the New York City Fire Department and became a probationary firefighter in February 1996. Immediately Gary knew he had found the career he had been seeking. His companionable personality‚ great intellect‚ and mechanical abilities all came together in the job.
The training required hard work and dedication‚ nothing suited him better and it was wonderful to see him so interested and engrossed. He would always say a good tour was to fight a fire‚ help somebody‚ or make someone laugh.
If there was ever a dull moment with Gary‚ it meant he fell asleep. The man was tireless and his energy could light up a room. He never stopped moving and doing and talking He was continually expanding his mind and improving his skills. His spirit even through the toughest of times could not be broken. He greeted all with a grand smile and those he knew with arms open wide – quite a wingspan he would say. He had tremendous physical strength and could lift things or climb things with the greatest of ease and did so often. He carried great joy and enjoyed people immensely- he could chat easily and was never a bragger.
Gary’s character was impeccable and he would give great thought to approaching difficult situations. He always wanted to do the right thing in God’s eyes and lived with the utmost integrity. He would joke often and be extremely silly but when a situation called for honesty‚ hard work and/or sacrifice‚ he was ready willing and able to perform at the highest level.
Gary was a dedicated family man.
Being a good and decent husband and father was of utmost importance to him. He worked that much harder at marriage and fatherhood because it was what he wanted to love and be loved unconditionally.
As adults‚ we fell deeply in love‚ married and have two beautiful children Dalton‚ age 5‚ and Brigette‚ age 2‚ at the time of his death. We love him so much and the days and nights and holidays especially feel so quiet without his booming laughter. I’ve never known anyone like him who put all before himself. He’d set aside all his own needs for anyone who needed him – all they had to do was ask.
He was an asset to the FDNY. He was a joy to the family‚ an inspiration to our children.
He was a great man in a world filled with so many selfish beings. I’m sure God saw all his love and hard labor and looks kindly on his soul. A man whose spirit was never broken and whose heart was honest and open and whose love could never be replaced.
We were blessed to have you‚ a time too short but so full of love. We cherish the memories of this great love you shared so openly.
May you live in spirit watching carefully over Dalton and Brigette. They have your joy‚ your energy‚ your strength.
Hope I can keep up.
Love you Always Our Dearest Gary.