Firefighter Joseph Rivelli Jr.
Ladder 25

Laid to Rest
on January 5, 2002.

Firefighter Joseph Rivelli Jr.

He was a charm king, that Joe Rivelli. Confident and comfortable in his own skin, quick with a withering quip, faster still to a fire, the first to volunteer his fists to defend his buddy Tony Portela in a Houlihan's scuffle and, for years, the kind of magnet that too many women tried in vain to stick to. He had a restless intelligence: taught himself to build computers, started on a stockbroker's license, stayed glued to the History Channel on days off from Ladder 25 in Manhattan, was closing in on a pilot's license. So who knew, when Firefighter Rivelli finally married at 39, that he was secretly a sentimentalist, waiting to be discovered? Always close to his parents and three siblings, he now left sweetie-pie notes for his wife, Cheryl, under the pillow, and would call her at their home in Upper Manhattan after big fires, even at 3 a.m., just to hear her voice. Her children from a first marriage, Phylicia and Christopher, whom he introduced as his daughter and son, would find his notes in their school lunch bags. At 44, he was still Joe still sarcastic, still blunt. Only now, he was openly grateful. ( Article)

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