New York Times Portraits of Grief

John Crisci

The main thing about John," said Raffaella Crisci, his wife, "he was a family man." Actually, Mr. Crisci, a lieutenant who worked 23 years for the New York Fire Department, had two families: Mrs. Crisci and their three sons in Holbrook, on Long Island, and Hazardous Materials Company 1 in Maspeth, Queens. He was equally at home in both places. At each he fixed dinners of barbecued shrimp and ribs, built cupboards and shelves, and organized the paperwork.

He loved firefighting and was a rescue specialist and teacher. His shift was over on Sept. 11 when the alarm rang, Mrs. Crisci said, but "he automatically jumped in, wearing civilian clothes."

Off duty, "he liked being home with me and the kids," she said. He found plenty to do, watching his sons play hockey, nailing siding and sketching plans for a little pond.

"We didn't take fancy vacations," she said. "We just liked sitting in the backyard, swinging on the swing, drinking coffee. We had 30 years together. I want 30 more."