For Captain Vincent Brunton, 43, 1979 was an auspicious year. He got married, joined the FDNY and became a father for the first time.
Commissioner Von Essen said at Vinnie’s funeral that “only exceptional captains went back to lead the company from which they were promoted.” He was referring to Ladder 105. Brunton’s second job for decades was serving up beers at Farrell’s, the neighborhood tavern that serves as an informal town hall in Windsor Terrace. “He took the fire test, passed, went on the job, got married, had kids and kept working here all these years, even as he rose in the FDNY to lieutenant and then captain,” said one of Farrell’s co-owners. “He was always a perfect gentleman behind the bar. A sweeter guy you never met. Tough, funny, loyal, brave, honest. What could I say? I’d have trusted him with my life.”
Vinnie’s brother is an FDNY lieutenant and a piper in the Emerald Society Pipe and Drums Corps that played at his memorial. “Vinnie was a quiet guy who ran every day, kept in great physical shape, and rarely had an unkind word for anybody,” he said. “I will miss him every day of my life.”