Captain Joseph Farrelly, 47, had been promoted a year earlier but was not yet assigned a permanent firehouse, so he was covering for vacationing captains and on 9/11 was assigned to Engine 4. He liked working the night shift. On the 10th he lad left a note for his wife on her pillow saying “I can’t begin to tell you how much I love you. Words are inadequate. Already I can’t wait to get home. Hope you had a good time today. Love you. Joe.”
He had fallen for her the first moment he saw her when she was still 17 and he was 21. He waited a month until she was 18 to ask her out. Less than three years later they were married. Before they started their own family they spent seven years as foster parents to crack babies, taking care of them for six months until a permanent home was found. “He would talk to them and tell them not to worry, that they would have a good life.”
To the kids at Public School 3 on Staten Island he was “Fireman Joe.” This 22-year FDNY veteran loved kids and loved being a firefighter.
Eventually he had three children of his own: a daughter 11, and two sons 18 and 19.