'Dave Was an Experience'
If you knew David P. DeRubbio ‹ "Crazy Dave" or "Crazy Uncle Dave" to his family ‹ you knew about the jokes and you knew about the milk.
The fifth of seven children, Mr. DeRubbio, a Brooklyn firefighter, was famous in the family for his countless ways of getting around the household rule against profanity and for the zany nicknames he gave out.
"Dave was an experience," said Angela Tiberi, his younger sister, who contended with being nicknamed, "Witchie Poo."
He doted on his daughter Jessica, 12. He nicknamed her "Pestica."
To avoid using one profanity at home, Mr.DeRubbio would say, "What the H-E- double hockey sticks is going on?" Callers who encountered him at the other end of the line would typically find themselves being serenaded.
Mr. DeRubbio, 38, was such a milk hound that their mother joked about buying a family cow just to meet the demand, his sister said.
To the delight of his friends and family, none of this stopped after Mr. DeRubbio, who joined the Fire Department in 1998 and was assigned to Engine Company 226, became an adult.
"I know he's up there," Ms. Tiberi said. "And he's got everyone rolling."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 19, 2001.
DAVID PAUL DERUBBIO, 38, of New York, was a city firefighter who loved to make people laugh and often made himself the butt of the joke. His sister recalls once at a family gathering, when the guests were trying to watch television, DeRubbio impersonated a lounge singer and belted out a rendition of "Mack the Knife." "It was so stupid, but it was so funny," said his sister, Angela Tiberi. She said his "bright blue eyes were so full of life and his smile irreplaceable." DeRubbio is among those missing at the World Trade Center. His wife, Lorraine, called her husband the funniest person she ever met. "He made me laugh more than anyone," she said.
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press