Duffy Gerard

Duffy, Gerard
Gerard Duffy, Lad.21 Gerard Duffy, 53, of Manorville, was part of the city fire department’s Ladder 21 in Manhattan. He is believed to have died after the collapse of the south tower. Before Duffy joined the fire department, he had worked in a bank, said his niece, Theresa Neider of Yaphank. When he learned he was joining the FDNY, “he ripped off the tie and ran out and said ‘this is it. This is my calling,'” she said. Duffy, who was single, was a mentor to many of the rookies in the fire department, she said. He was also generous about swapping shifts with firemen who had kids. “That was his other family,” she said. He was the “cool uncle,” she said. “He was very easygoing, very generous and fun to be around.” He loved to fish from Montauk to Jones Beach with his brother, Neider’s father, and traveled all over the country going to Indy car races with his other brother. Neider, now nearing 40, recalled vacations in Vermont skiing with Duffy when she and her husband were in their late 20s. “At the time we couldn’t believe it,” she said. “Here he was zooming down the slopes. We couldn’t believe the shape he was in.” Losing him has brought the family closer together, said Neider, the mother of 3-year-old twins. “It has made us treasure every minute,” she said. “Every single morning when you leave the house you don’t know if you are coming home . . . It’s no fault of other people but the family members who lost someone have really stayed in that moment.” “These people were heroes,” she added. “They showed us we have to press on,” – Ridgely Ochs