Man Among Men, and Boys
The memorial for Dave Fontana is scheduled for Oct. 17, which would have been his 38th birthday. He died at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, on his eighth wedding anniversary.
Mr. Fontana was a firefighter with the elite Squad 1 unit, stationed in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where he lived with his wife, Marian, and 5-year-old son, Aidan. Neighbors were shocked by the news that 12 men from the small firehouse on Union Street had died, but they took his loss especially hard.
Dave Fontana was a man's man. He volunteered his time for the Boy Scouts. He read to children. He worked tirelessly to find the names of firefighters who had fallen in World War II so that dedication plaques could be hung in the firehouses where they had served.
A trained sculptor, Mr. Fontana was known for the elaborate Halloween costumes he and his son wore in the annual neighborhood parade. "You know Dave Fontana?" Aidan asked the other day. "I love Dave Fontana."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 6, 2001.