Service was held
on October 15, 2001
Notes to His Queen
D. Farrelly met Stacey Goldberg when she was 17 years old. It
was love at first sight for Captain Farrelly, then 21. But he
waited nearly a month before he asked her out on a date. "He
wouldn't ask me out until after my birthday" when she would
turn 18, said Mrs. Farrelly, who married Captain Farrelly two
and a half years later. "That's the kind of guy he was." Captain
Farrelly turned out to be the kind of chivalrous husband who
always opened doors, washed the dishes after dinner and started
his wife's car to make sure it was warm when she got inside.
A 22-year veteran of the New York City Fire Department, Captain
Farrelly, of Engine Company 4, also left Mrs. Farrelly love
notes nearly every day, on her pillow or in her car. "Joe made
it a point to make her happy," said Marge Neefus, a longtime
friend of the couple. "I used to tease her all the time and
call her the queen. He treated her that way. He dedicated his
life to making her happy." Though the couple would eventually
have a family of their own, for 10 years they served as foster
parents to crack-addicted babies. Captain Farrelly, who was
47 when he died, always took the night shift. Profile published
in THE NEW YORK TIMES on March 3, 2002. Joseph Farrelly, 47,
a born firefighter Dennis Farrelly couldn't get over the fact
that his younger brother, Joseph, was afraid of needles, but
had no problem running into burning buildings. "It never went
away. He did not like needles," Dennis Farrelly said of Joseph.
But Joseph Farrelly couldn't wait to become a firefighter in
his hometown of Old Bridge. As soon as Joseph Farrelly was old
enough, he volunteered for the South Old Bridge fire company.
He quickly moved on, becoming a paid firefighter in New Brunswick
and later in New York City. Mr. Farrelly, who had been promoted
to captain a year ago but had not been assigned a specific firehouse,
was filling in for a vacationing colleague on Sept. 11. His
family believes the company, Engine Company 4, Ladder 15, was
one of the first to arrive at the World Trade Center after a
hijacked airliner slammed into the North Tower. He was 47. Mr.
Farrelly's mother, Teresa, said she knew right away that her
son was dead. "I felt from Day One that he was gone," his mother
said. It took his father, Joseph, several more days. Mr. Farrelly
is among 15 firefighters from Engine Company 4 who perished
in the World Trade Center. The fire company recently held a
memorial service for all the victims' families and took everyone
to Ground Zero. "I had seen it on television and in the paper.
But you can't grasp it until you stand there. It looked like
Hiroshima after they dropped the bomb," Dennis Farrelly said.
Hearing his brother's co-workers talk fondly of Joseph during
the memorial service helped ease the pain. Over and over again
they complimented Mr. Farrelly and talked about how concerned
he was for their safety when they responded to fires. "He wanted
to make sure they knew what to do and how to do it so they didn't
get hurt," Dennis Farrelly said. "It made me feel good that
he had that kind of loyalty with his workers." Mr. Farrelly
also is survived by his wife, Stacey; three children, Ryan,
19, Devin, 17, and Julieann, 11, all of Staten Island; and two
brothers, Michael of Sayreville and Patrick of Cheyenne, Wyo.
A memorial service will be held for Mr. Farrelly at noon Monday
at the Harbor Manor, 1000 Richmond Terr., Staten Island. Profile
by Alicia Grey published in THE STAR-LEDGER.