New York Times Portraits of Grief

Martin Demeo

The bumblebee caught her eye.

It was Halloween, 1982, and Martin DeMeo, dressed as a bee, was buzzing around a friend's Halloween party until he saw Joan, the future Mrs. DeMeo, who, you could say, was stung at first sight.

She had dressed as "Joan," she said, because she had come straight from work. Nonetheless, her outfit was a success. And she thought Mr. DeMeo, who friends called Marty, was "pretty funny."

She learned that the jovial bumblebee was in love with nature, and he introduced her to the joys of camping and hiking and long vacations next to the sea.

After his wife, his two children, Kristen, 16, and Nicholas, 14, and the great outdoors, what Mr. DeMeo, who was 47 and a New York City firefighter, liked most was baseball.

"He would have been very happy right now," Mrs. DeMeo said Saturday, referring to the Yankees' successful fight to get into the World Series. "I'm really hoping they do it for us this year. It would have meant a lot to Marty, and we need it really bad."