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Thread: About John

  1. #1
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    About John

    L.I., firefighter John Tipping 2nd was remembered for hopping a fire truck to the twin towers site from Ladder 4 at Eighth Ave. and 48th St. - even though he been placed on sick leave just hours before for an eye injury suffered in another fire incident.

    Tipping, 33, was one of 15 members of Ladder 4 to die.

    The Rev. John McNamara, Tipping's cousin, said: "He did not have to answer that call, but he did. But any one of you who are firemen know why John got on that truck."

    "In the evening of his life, John was judged by love," said the priest, "and he was not found wanting."

    His girlfriend, Kristin Costic, told the church packed wall-to-wall with firefighters and friends that she and John were "partners in crime."

    "Most of all John and I were best friends. I had the pleasure of being the one he chose to share (his life) with."

    He leaves his father, John, a retired firefighter, his mother and three sisters.

  2. #2
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    AMERICA'S ORDEAL;
    He Enjoyed Many Rugged Sports
    Copyright 2001 Newsday, Inc.
    Newsday (New York, NY)...10/14/2001

    Fighting fires didn't scare John Tipping II. It was the thought of not fighting them that terrified him.

    After passing the department's physical and written exams, Tipping failed the color-blindness test. "He was frightened," said his sister, Maureen Tipping of Port Jefferson Station. "He wanted to get on that department."
    Although Maureen, a nurse, went down to Ground Zero on Sept. 11 to serve the city as her brother did, she said the job of tutoring John was more frightening. Providing eye-washes for rescue workers was something she knew how to do. But failing to help John was something she feared. If her lessons hadn't been successful, John could not have followed his father, John Tipping, a 37- year veteran, into the department. But he passed the test, joining Manhattan's Ladder 4 in 1995.

    "It was meant to be," Maureen Tipping said.

    Vinny Schwarting of Hauppauge, a friend since elementary school, said, "I remember when John would talk about being a New York City firefighter, how his eyes would light up."

    On Sept. 11, John Tipping's eyes again decided his fate. Out on a call the night before, he suffered a corneal abrasion from debris and returned late, after being treated at a hospital. So he slept at the firehouse instead of commuting to Port Jefferson.

    He was walking out Ladder 4's door Tuesday morning when he heard the radio and turned around. Another sister, Stephanie Tipping of Hauppauge, said that John, like any dedicated firefighter, wouldn't have had it any other way.

    At 33, John was three years older than Stephanie, but people often thought she was the older sibling, because John "knew how to have so much fun," she said.

    He reveled in many rugged sports, like off-road biking, skiing, in-line skating and snowboarding, pursuing them as far away as Sweden. No matter where he went, he always had a friend to stay with, said Joe Milne, Stephanie's husband.

    But Tipping also enjoyed homebody activities like cooking seafood feasts for his family and friends during summers in the Hamptons.

    Hook and halligan or hammer and saw - he was equally talented. His carpentry work finished family members' homes, especially his mother Arlene's, to perfection.

    On the morning of the World Trade Center attacks, he was supposed to meet Milne to complete the siding on his house. Tipping was also days away from purchasing his own home in New Jersey with his girlfriend, Kristin Costic. About a week after the attacks, Costic bought the house on her own so that "when John comes out of this, it will be the way he wanted it," Maureen Tipping said.

    Tom Lits of Hauppauge, Tipping's inseparable friend for two decades, said getting married and watching their families grow together was supposed to be "the next phase."

    Milne, a New York City police officer, and Joseph Cestari, his sister, Arlene's husband and a New York City firefighter, spent days at Ground Zero looking for him. But now it is certain that Tipping will not return, and Lits said the remembrance of all their shared moments sustains him.

    "Men have a very hard time describing their love for another man, and I don't have any problems describing him," Lits said. "I can honestly say I look at him as a gift from God, and I was lucky enough to receive him for the time I had."

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