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Thread: About Gregg

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    About Gregg

    Gregg Atlas, 44, fire lieutenant enjoyed simple, rural life

    Part-time farmer was proud he and his 3 brothers were firefighters

    Thursday, October 25, 2001

    Firefighter Gregg A. Atlas enjoyed the simple, rural life best of all, and the part-time farmer grew enough food in his quarter-acre garden to feed his entire family.

    A native of Stapleton, the 44-year-old fire lieutenant moved to Howells, N.Y., in 1986 and at one time even had cows on the property.

    "We actually raised 12 or 13 cows -- not bad for a city kid," said his wife of 15 years, the former JoAnn West. "They were sold for dairy and for beef as well."

    Her husband, Mrs. Atlas said, "grew tomatoes, melons, [and] corn, and everything was distributed among his family" at harvest time,

    "He just loved it. He'd get the seeds and the garden ready in January," she said.

    A 1974 graduate of St. Peter's Boys High School, Mr. Atlas joined the Fire Department in 1981.

    He has been missing since the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

    He was first assigned to Engine Co. 74, Manhattan, and in 1986 moved to Ladder Co. 34, also Manhattan. After being promoted to lieutenant in 1994, he became a member of Engine Co. 10, which is located on Liberty Street -- across the street from the Twin Towers.

    Members of Engine 10 reportedly were last heard from when they were in Tower 1 between the 30th and 40th floors.

    "He loved it very much. After 20 years with the Fire Department, he told me he wasn't ready to retire because he'd miss all the guys," said Mrs. Atlas.

    His three brothers -- Don P., Keith and Scott Atlas -- are also firefighters.

    "He was very proud that he and all his brothers were part of the Fire Department," said Mrs. Atlas.

    She met the young firefighter who would become her husband in 1984.

    "I met him at a party and then re-met again on that St. Patrick's Day. He asked me out, and there you are," she said.

    Although his wife said he could "break chops" pretty well, she said her husband "loved life."

    "He personified himself in everything he did. He was generous and kind if a friend needed help. His children were everything to him," said Mrs. Atlas.

    A natural outdoorsman, Mr. Atlas enjoyed fishing and hunting.

    "When our son was in the second grade, we told him to find some kind of work to do that you love. That way you never have to work a day in your life," said Mrs. Atlas.

    When asked what she will miss most about her husband, Mrs. Atlas replied, "Everything. Everything.

    "My life is not the same anymore," she said.

    In addition to his wife, JoAnn, and his brothers, Don P., Keith and Scott, surviving are his son, Gregg Peter; his daughter, Sarah Therese; his parents, Donald and Ruth; a sister, Valerie Fernandes, and his maternal grandparents, Edward and Ruth Russell.


    Gregg was a Fireman in Ladder 34. He was known for his talents as an excellent firefighter as well as being a good friend. Gregg will be remembered for his smile and good natured practical jokes which could always take the pressure off of a serious moment.

    Upon his ********* to Lieutenant and after "bouncing around" for awhile he was happy to be assigned to his new firehouse, Engine Co. 10. Gregg fit in well and worked several years with this fire company which was located across the street from the World Trade Center. His company was the first unit to respond on 9/11/01 and Gregg was probably the first FDNY officer to enter the Twin Towers. His unwavering heroism helped to save thousands that day. Gregg will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.
    Last edited by Chris; 01-05-2002 at 11:47 AM.

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