Richard grew up in Broad Channel, New York, and went to St. Virgilius School and Far Rockaway High School. He was a star running back for the Broad Channel Shamrocks and wore #44. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and proudly served his country in Korea.
He moved to Manhattan in his early 20s and lived on the Upper East Side for most of his adult life. He eventually met the love of his life, his wife Karen, on January 1, 1994, at 3 a.m., and they married in 1998.
Richard was a proud FDNY firefighter (Badge #3353) and worked at Ladder 3 in downtown Manhattan. His last night on the job was September 10, 2001. On the morning of September 11, he finished his shift and hopped in the shower at his firehouse when the other members of his house found out about the attacks on the World Trade Center. They all rushed down there, and Richard got out of the shower, put back on his gear, and rushed towards the buildings. As he approached, the buildings fell and knocked him backwards, dislocating his shoulder and causing other injuries. Despite the injuries, he went back to the firehouse to make sure someone was there to answer the phone when the wives and families of his brothers called. Sadly, all of the other 12 members of his house tragically passed away that day.
This, of course, devastated him, and in 2005 Rich and Karen moved out of NYC to Port Charlotte, Florida, where he lived until his passing, caused by complications from 9/11. He passed on January 1, 2019, at 3 p.m., 25 years to the day after meeting Karen.
He was my grandpa.– Daniel