Police Officer Ronald Kloepfler

Police Officer Santos Valentin, Jr.
Ronald Kloepfer, 39, of Franklin Square, was a member of the New York City Police Department’s emergency service unit, which is charged with responding to major emergencies. He called his wife, Dawn, about 8 a.m. Sept. 11, 2001, to tell her to have a good day. He was last heard from in the south tower; no remains were found. Trained as a sniper and posted on rooftops during presidential visits, Kloepfer loved his job. “The more excitement the better,” Dawn Kloepfer said. He was also part of another elite squad: He was the coach of the NYPD’s lacrosse team. “That was a big deal,” she said. Devoted to his three children, he bought his son – 4 years old when his father died – a lacrosse stick when he was born. He also made sure he and his two daughters, then 11 and 9, knew how to ski and swim. He was “the go-to guy” in the family, taking care of everyone’s needs, she said. “He never sat down; he was always doing something – painting something, fixing something. That was his thing,” she said. “If he was not at my house, he was at his mother’s.” The months after his death seemed unreal. “Suddenly we went from being anonymous middle-class people to being thrust into the spotlight,” she said. “For the children it was very confusing because they lost their father and everybody wanted to give us things.” Asked if she thought it would have been easier had she been able to grieve more privately, she said: “I don’t know if it would have been better. We were thrust into this. There was no body to bury, no grave. He just vanished.” – Ridgely Ochs