His Best Was for the Family
Lt. Michael N. Fodor, his friends were convinced, had seen every "Jeopardy!" episode before it was on television. "He always knew the answers," said Deborah Fodor, his wife of 28 years. "He had a passion for learning" and a vast collection of antique history books, as well as original copies of the newspapers reporting the attack on Pearl Harbor and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Fifteen years ago, the family moved to Warwick, N.Y., because Lieutenant Fodor wanted his children — Michael, 23, Andrew, 22, and Ashley, 16 — to grow up in a small town. Lieutenant Fodor, 53, of Tower Ladder Company 21 in Manhattan, was still all firefighter, and although the trip to Manhattan could take three hours, he was on the job on time when the call came from the World Trade Center.
Holidays were Lieutenant Fodor's favorite time of year, his wife said, and, like many firefighters, he loved to cook. After he was promoted to lieutenant 17 years ago, though, he saved the cooking and especially his pièce de résistance, prime ribs and Yorkshire pudding, just for the family.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 21, 2001.
LT. MICHAEL N. FODOR, 53, of Warwick, N.Y., a firefighter for the New York Fire Department, was helpful by nature. He had been an assistant Scoutmaster with a local Boy Scout troop, pitched in at his children's schools, and looked forward to helping his oldest son, Michael, earn a master's degree. "This is a man who would help anybody under any circumstances," said his wife, Deborah Nelson Fodor. "It's very difficult to explain these firefighters. It's just something that they do without expecting any thank you or acknowledgment."
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press