The life of Terence McShane, so full and so brief, could be measured by his friendships. There were the buddies from Sts. Cyril and Methodius parish, St. Anthony's High School, lifeguarding, Siena College, rugby, his decade as a New York police officer, and the two years he spent as a city firefighter.

"Terence was still friendly with guys he went to nursery school with," said his older brother, Kieran. "He'd bump into someone and start talking, and I'd say, `Who was that?' "

"Some girl I went to third grade with," he would answer.

What drew people to him? Maybe it was the way he had mastered the art of drawing the best from small moments. Take one of his approaches to fatherhood: pushing a kids-packed stroller while in-line skating. Shirtless. Along Montauk Highway.

Mr. McShane, 37; his wife, Cathy; and their three children