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He Had Princely Ways, Technician's Talents

by Steven Kreytak
Copyright February 6, 2002, Newsday.

Joseph Maffeo Obituary

maffeonyt.gif Joseph Maffeo

When Joseph Maffeo started dating Linda Dornes in 1995, he went to the bank where she worked in Staten Island once a week and put a big gerbera daisy on her car.

It was a sign of things to come for Dornes, who married Maffeo in June 1998.

Over the years, his wife said, she never opened a door for herself when she was with her husband. And she would often wake up to find notes on the bathroom mirror saying things like "I love you," in French.

Maffeo, a New York City firefighter with Ladder Co. 101 in Red Hook, Brooklyn, died on Sept. 11 when he rushed to the World Trade Center. He was 30.

"When we were married, his mom said, 'I am giving you my prince,'" his wife said. "She did give me a prince."

Maffeo grew up in Staten Island the last of five children and the only boy of Jean and Louis Maffeo. His father is a retired fire department captain who was on the job for 40 years.

maffeoHeadHelmet.jpg Joey Maffeo

Maffeo went to Staten Island Technical High School and graduated from SUNY Albany in 1994 with a degree in geographical information and spacial analysis.

He joined the fire department in 1995 and put his technical skills to use in the firehouse.

Whether it was fixing a door in the captain's office or getting the department mascot (the pirate for the Red Hook Raiders) redesigned, he always contributed, said Capt. Tom Giordano. "He was a smart guy," Giordano said. He could have done any job, but he wanted to be a firefighter."

On Oct. 10, 2000, Maffeo's wife gave birth to their son, Christopher Joseph.

"He would just beam when he saw the baby," Linda said. "He was so proud of that baby."

maffeopirate.jpg Redhook Raider

When his wife got up in the middle of the night to attend to their crying son, Maffeo got up with her. "It's so hard to put into words," she said, "how amazing he was."

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