Robert Fazio Jr.

Robert Fazio Jr.
World Trade Center

Tickle Monster



At 41, Robert Fazio Jr. was still single. People would ask him when he was going to marry. But the pressure of society's conventions, said his sister, Carole Lovero, could not affect his decisions.

"He was a happy person, he was happy within himself," she said. "He would have gotten married if he had found the right person, but he was happy doing what he was doing."

What he was doing, outside of his job as a patrolman for the New York Police Department, was working on motorcycles, cars, boats and houses for anybody who needed a hand. "Half my neighbors, he fixed their cars," said Officer Fazio's father, Robert Sr. Shortly after he got his driver's license, Robert Fazio Jr. could be seen on the weekend in front of the family's house in South Hempstead, on Long Island, hoisting engines in and out of cars with the help of a sturdy tree limb.

He had worked for the Police Department for 17 years and was called from his precinct in the East 20's on Sept. 11 to help people out of the shopping plaza beneath the World Trade Center. He had less than three years to go until retirement, his father said, and planned on setting up a motorcycle and car repair shop somewhere near his home in Freeport, N.Y., with a friend from junior high school, Gino Lanza. But though he had no children of his own, he spent as much time as he could baby-sitting for his nephew, Michael Lovero, and friends' children, who nicknamed him the Tickle Monster

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on March 24, 2002.




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