Submitted by his wife
Robert J. DeAngelis Jr. perished in the September 11th‚ 2001‚ WTC disaster. He was a man of uncommon integrity‚ honor and valor.
On that tragic day‚ my precious husband answered his final call as a Volunteer Firefighter with courage and bravery. Robert was a 25 year member and Ex-Chief of the Lakeview Fire Department while serving as Fire Commissioner for the West Hempstead Fire District. In addition‚ he served as Public Fire Safety Instructor with the Nassau County Fire Marshall’s Office. He left behind a wife and two young daughters. Robert DeAngelis was 47 years old when he died.
Born in Rockville Centre‚ New York‚ Robert was a lifetime resident of West Hempstead‚ New York. In West Hempstead‚ he was the local boy who attended St. Thomas the Apostle School. A former alter boy‚ he remained a devout Catholic his entire life and attended Mass most mornings. Robert‚ in fact‚ was given the keys to the Church as he often arrived at the steps of St. Thomas the Apostle Church‚ before the Parish Priest. He attended West Hempstead High School‚ where he became President of the Honor Society. At West Hempstead High‚ Robert was very active in sports and played football. Although his stature was only 5′ 5’‚ he presented a much taller appearance. His friends and family affectionately and respectfully have referred to Robert as‚ ‘Little Giant’. Robert went on to attend New York Institute of Technology‚ Old Westbury‚ NY‚ earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Fine Arts and Communications.
On September 11th‚ 2001‚ Robert DeAngelis‚ left home for his job as Procurement Manager with the Washington Group International‚ located on the 91st Floor‚ WTC Tower Two. He bought the massive equipment and materials needed for infrastructure projects managed around the world by the Washington Group. His final and completed world class assignment was a $705 million hydro-electric dam project in the Philippines. A colleague‚ Robert Resch of Dix Hills‚ N.Y. states‚ ‘Robert was superbly fit and never ate junk‚ but always kept a dish of candy on his desk for others.’
His last call as a Volunteer Firefighter would be to remain back in Tower Two. Robert successfully led to safety the majority of his staff by evacuating them to the 78th Floor express elevator‚ where they were able to vacate the building. Once they were safe‚ he then went back up to the 91st Floor to offer further assistance and perished as the second plane impacted the building.
The United States Department of Justice has recognized and honored Robert J. DeAngelis‚ Jr.‚ as a Public Safety Officer who bravely died while serving within the line of duty. The Lakeview Fire Department has established a scholarship in Robert’s memory. This honor has been awarded annually to a student within the West Hempstead Community‚ based upon academic achievement‚ leadership and dedication to civic duty.
There exists so many interesting facets to my husband’s life. Robert loved and appreciated the fine arts. He understood the world of film and theater. As a student at New York Tech‚ Robert co-founded the Asbury Short Film Festival in NYC which remains in full operation and continues to receive national acclaim to this day.
Robert was a devoted and loving husband to his first wife‚ Diane‚ who died of Breast Cancer in 1994. He was a volunteer with the Breast Cancer Coalition at Adelphi University‚ New York‚ as he utilized his experience to counsel other men to cope with the effects of breast cancer. I absolutely adored my husband! Robert was the love of my life and I am so heart broken to have lost him. He was always so proud and devoted to his two daughters‚ Jenna and Lisa‚ as he loved them so very much. The loss of this wonderful man has left such an impact on our family and a community who loved him. Nothing will ever be the same‚ but when the strength is needed to step forward into the uncertain future‚ we think of Robert; how he would have handled a situation. We remember the quiet Grace‚ Dignity and Courage that would define Robert’s character on the day of his death. Just a simple and humble man‚ who gave and taught us so much.
Let us always remember our Robert for the way he loved and lived….. for the way he laid down his life for his friends.
My darling‚ brave husband‚ I will always carry you in a safe place‚ deep within my heart. You have made me so proud and honored to have been called a ‘Fireman’s Wife’. I will love you forever.
Robert J. DeAngelis Jr.‚ is survived by wife‚ Denise DeAngelis; daughters‚ Jenna and Lisa; brother – Paul DeAngelis; sisters‚ Joan DeAngelis‚ Mary Platek.