Last Wishes, First Steps
Thomas J. Kennedy had the sort of welcoming face that babies and children love. Wherever he went, they would try to make friends. "He would treat kids as if they were adults," said a brother, Bob. "Then he could play the kid himself, at the same time."
A firefighter with Ladder Company 101 in Brooklyn, Mr. Kennedy, 36, wanted five children of his own. He and his wife, Allison, had two children and planned to have another. Michael is 2, and James turned 1 on Nov. 17.
As a father, Mr. Kennedy cherished his children's bedtime rituals, administering evening baths and reading "Goodnight Moon." He and Michael would drop coins into a piggy bank, because the father was teaching the son the value of saving. This winter, Mr. Kennedy had hoped to take Michael skiing and ice skating, and to see James walk. On Sept. 14, the baby took his first steps. "Now he runs and climbs," said Mrs. Kennedy. "Tom would have loved that."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 31, 2001.