Keeping Life Fresh
Richard Fitzsimons, of Lynbrook, N.Y., kept his Irish roots well watered. For him, a visit to Ireland was going home, said Colleen, his daughter. He last saw Dublin in the summer, when he ate, drank and danced for 13 hours to celebrate a niece's wedding.
At home, he kept busy. In his job as a fire safety inspector at the World Trade Center, he conducted drills and planned evacuations. He was, Ms. Fitzsimons said, almost certainly "saving people right from the start."
Mr. Fitzsimons golfed and coached a working men's ice hockey team. He belonged to the Ancient Order of Hibernians and had studied Gaelic with Patricia, his wife.
At 57, he was keeping his life interesting by starting fresh. He was toying with the idea of another career as a guidance counselor or as a travel agent. Two years ago, he began taking piano lessons. He and his wife would spend evenings at home, singing old tunes while he played along.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 27, 2001.