www.irishtribute.com - lost person
irish tribute home proudly brought to you by Irish Abroad



David Fontana
Age: 37
Occupation: Hero
Worked for: FDNY - Squad 1, Brooklyn, NY
Originally from: Manhattan
Resided in: Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York

David Fontana. Beloved husband of Marian. Loving father of 5 year old Aidan. Dear son of Antonia Fontana. Sculptor.
Submitted by: Antonia Fontana ()

Other links: Man Among Men, and Boys: NY Times
 More Tributes

From NY Times, Dec 13, 2001

Fireman's Body Found, but Serenity Is Elusive


The remains of Lt. Dave Fontana were found last Thursday in the wreckage of the south tower of the World Trade Center, his widow, Marian Fontana, said yesterday.

Lieutenant Fontana, 38, was one of 12 men from the elite Squad 1 fire and rescue company who disappeared in the cascading inferno Sept. 11. Lieutenant Fontana, whose firehouse was in Park Slope, Brooklyn, left Mrs. Fontana and a 5-year-old son, Aidan.

In an emotional bit of synchronicity, the remains of Firefighter Gerard P. Dewan were also recovered from the site last week. The remains were confirmed to be his this week through DNA tests. Firefighter Dewan was a tenant and friend of Firefighter Sean Cummins, who in turn was a friend of Lieutenant Fontana's at Squad 1.

A memorial was held for Lieutenant Fontana in late October. There were bagpipes and 1,000 firefighters and a coffin with no body.

Marian Fontana has since become politically active, emerging as the spokeswoman for a group representing grieving family members whose relatives and spouses have not been found since Sept. 11.

"I'm not sure how I feel," Mrs. Fontana said yesterday morning. "Mixed, I guess. I was happy that they found Dave, but I'm not feeling the closure I expected to get."

The lieutenant's remains were found by rescue workers Thursday morning, while Mrs. Fontana and her son were visiting Hawaii. That same day, Aidan learned to surf. It was an important moment for the family, Mrs. Fontana said, since her husband was a surfer and a lifeguard on Long Island in his younger years.

Mrs. Fontana is planning a small funeral service for her husband next week at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, noted for its natural beauty and Victorian monuments. Lieutenant Fontana will be laid to rest in the shade of a beech tree, she said.

A firefighter from Squad 1 who was among the workers last Thursday said they knew they had found a fireman by his jacket.

"We didn't know it was Dave right away," the firefighter said, asking that his name not be published because, like many firefighters, he was working on his own time and thus unauthorized to be at ground zero. "It was dark, late at night, and you are never sure of the time. But it was like we got something and then we got something else."

The firefighter paused for a moment to compose himself and continued: "In a way it makes me happy. We accomplished something for his family."

Lieutenant Fontana was not just a firefighter, the people who knew him say. He was a Renaissance man: a sculptor, a Fire Department historian, a prankster. He was Mr. Mom to the mothers at the grade school because of his devotion to his son.

After the body was recovered, it was draped in an American flag and driven to the Bellevue Hospital Center morgue for official identification.

After the remains of Firefighter Dewan, 35, were also found last week, his and Lieutenant Fontana's names appeared side by side on the list of the confirmed deceased.

Firefighter Dewan was among the first firefighters to enter the twin towers. Along with 11 others from Ladder Company 3/Battalion 6 in Lower Manhattan, he never made it out. It was his first day working at the firehouse. A small family ceremony in Boston, where he was born, is planned today.

Firefighter Dewan had family ties to the Boston Fire Department, but because of a lack of job opportunities there, he began in the New York Fire Department five years ago. He is the first member of his family to die in the line of duty.

He was not married, but found a family in the Cummins household in Rockaway Park, Queens, where he rented a basement apartment.

"At least there is closure and he can be buried," said Maureen Cummins, Firefighte
-- Anon (Friend { })
13 Dec 2001

If you would like to add a message ...  [ Add a message ]   

[All Tributes]

Irish Tribute Merchandise.  All profits go to InnisFree Fund

Innishfree Fund

Irish Tribute is proudly brought to you by