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Thread: Family to Carry On His Thanksgiving Tradition

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Family to Carry On His Thanksgiving Tradition

    Family to Carry On His Thanksgiving Tradition

    October 23, 2001

    The master cook will be missing, but the family of firefighter Dennis M. Carey will gather as always for Thanksgiving dinner in his Wantagh home because that's what he would have wanted.

    "Thanksgiving dinner was his thing. He would make the turkey and stuffing and bake apple pies," his wife, Jeanne, recalled. He would follow recipes from Bon Appetit magazine exactly. "My job was to go out and get all those weird ingredients." And he would add some Italian specialties to please her Italian-American family, said his wife, the former Jeanne Accardi.

    She had no special concerns when her husband kissed her goodbye on the morning of Sept. 11. Carey, 51, a member of Hazardous Material Co. 1 in Maspeth, was off-duty, on his way to Brooklyn for a routine physical exam. A 20-year fire department veteran, he planned to retire in January, and the couple talked about traveling - three months on their beloved island of Aruba, later a month in Europe.

    But when the alarm sounded, Carey and other Haz-Mat men piled into the chief's car, picked up helmets and gear at a firehouse and sped to the Twin Towers. Carey's body was found Sept. 30 in a stairwell in Tower One where he and his chief were trapped as they were rescuing survivors. "I was more fortunate than most because I got his body," his wife said, her voice reflecting the enormity of her loss.

    Carey was a lively, fun-loving presence. "He was Dennis the Menace, always joking, always optimistic," his wife said. But he was also a concerned husband and father who paid attention to the needs of his wife and each of his children, Nicole Carey, 25, and Dennis Jr., 22.

    "He tried his best to please each of us," she said. "He wanted me to be strong," said Jeanne Carey, which is why she is going ahead with plans for Thanksgiving dinner.

    "He put his heart and soul into cooking Thanksgiving dinner, and this is one tradition that we will never forget," said a niece, Christie Accardi.

    Born in Brooklyn, Carey attended Franklin K. Lane High School, dropped out to get a job but returned to get his general high school diploma and have a year at Queens College. He was a firefighter with Ladder Co. 154, Engine Co. 307 in Jackson Heights for 12 years before being assigned to the hazardous-material company.

    Carey was buried Oct. 9 in Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury, to the sound of bagpipes, after a service in St. Frances De Chantal Church in Wantagh, attended by 600, including 250 firefighters.

    -- Rhoda Amon (Newsday)

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    HAZMAT 1 FDNY

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