Fireman Loved Reading, Horse Racing
October 19, 2001
Hayes of East Northport used to make his grandchildren laugh with
sayings like, "See you 'round like a doughnut," whenever
he left a room, or with "knock, knock" jokes that came
without warning, said his daughter, Virginia McDermott of Williston
Park. "He always told bad jokes," she said, "but
he made people laugh."
a fire safety inspector, was called to duty after the first plane
flew into One World Trade Center, said his son, Philip Hayes Jr.,
of Downey, Calif. "We always took for granted that he was
coming home," his son said. "He went and fought fires
and came home."
Hayes, 67, has been missing since Sept. 11.
second of 16 children, Hayes was born in Brooklyn in 1934. He
attended St. Agnes Catholic School there. He was married in 1952
and worked for a customs brokerage from 1952 to 1959. He became
a firefighter with Engine Co. 217 in Brooklyn in 1959.
men of 217, according to Hayes' son, were known for their camaraderie
and took pride in being a part of the company. "None of the
guys in 217 ever wanted to be relocated because of the closeness
they felt with the guys in the firehouse," Philip Hayes Jr.
retired from the fire department 20 years after he first joined,
his son said, and went back to work for a customs brokerage from
1979 until 1995. When a position for an on-site fire safety inspector
at the World Trade Center opened up in 1995, Hayes couldn't pass
it up. "He still had badge number 6366 in his heart,"
his son said.
family has gone through numerous stages of grief since Sept. 11,
his son said. "First there was the horror, then we had hope.
Then we had the realization that he was in the building. Then
we had the acceptance. It's a long, painful process."
daughter, McDermott, said her father loved to read books and watch
horse racing. He was more than a father to her, she said. "He
was a friend. I loved him, but I liked him, too."
is also survived by his wife, Virginia, of East Northport; daughters
Theresa O'Gara of East Northport and Laura Froehlich of Smithtown,
and 10 grandchildren.
memorial service is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. tomorrow at St. Anthony's
Roman Catholic Church of Padua in East Northport.
to Philip's Home Page