John F. McNamara, born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, was a good-natured prankster and devoted husband and father who always led by example. No matter what else he had done in his life, being a New York City firefighter was the essence of who he was. He loved the job, and he loved the guys. What could be better than getting paid for helping others? He was assigned first to Engine 220/Ladder 122 in Park Slope, Brooklyn, then Engine 234/Ladder 123 in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. John was also a volunteer firefighter in Blue Point, New York, after Jenn and John moved there in 2003.
McNamara, who was 44 at the time of his death, worked about 500 hours at Ground Zero. He also was one of the first to join the FDNY’s rescue mission to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2006 when his wife was four months pregnant with their only son, Jack. It was his exposure to toxins on the pile that caused the illness that ultimately killed him on August 9, 2009.
John was devoted to his family, but also to his community. After his death, his wife formed the FDNY Firefighter John F. McNamara Foundation (the Johnny Mac Foundation) to continue his good works in the local community and to assist other sick 9/11 first responders.
John is survived by his wife, Jennifer; now 10-year-old son, Jack; sisters, Carol and Donna; brother, Patrick; and mother and father-in-law, Linda and George.