Captain John Moschella was born January 5, 1966, in Staten Island, to Marjorie and Salvatore Moschella. When he was two, John’s family moved to Farmingdale, New York. Throughout childhood, John was a charismatic, larger than life, and outgoing soul. He was a proud 1984 graduate of Farmingdale High School, where he was respected, admired, and created lifelong friendships. He was the oldest of five in a close-knit Italian and Irish American family. As a child, he played baseball and hockey. John was a diehard Yankees, Rangers, and Giants fan for life. He played basketball in the FDNY League and hockey in Farmingdale, where his skill and sportsmanship were noted.
John considered joining the New York City Police Department like his father but thought a career in the New York City Fire Department would be more fitting. John started his career as a firefighter in Canarsie, Brooklyn Engine 257/Ladder 170, where he worked for 17 years. In Brooklyn, John met lifelong friends, created a lasting impact, and formed a love for the brotherhood of the FDNY. Known by friends as “Johnny Mush,” he was promoted to lieutenant in 2007 to Engine 287 in Elmhurst, Queens. One of John’s proudest days as a firefighter was April 24, 2014, when he was honored and promoted to captain of Engine 26 in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan.
Captain Moschella loved being a firefighter. It was a calling and a passion especially in service to the communities he worked in. Fellow firefighters noted how, while a funny and great guy, he had an intense focus on doing the job right. John was a positive influence and remained calm no matter what the circumstance. The firefighters respected him and admired his work ethic and leadership. In his 27-year career, John took great pride in leading his firefighters well. Each person John touched remembers his kindness, positive spirit, friendship, and sacrifice as a hero.
A pivotal part of the rescue and recovery team on September 11, 2001, John unfortunately contracted 9/11 related cancer. He fought cancer like he lived his life, with courage and strength. Until the end when things were grim, John was positive and never gave up hope. Captain Moschella was a beloved son to Marjorie and Salvatore, big brother to Frank (Julie), Maria (Pete), James (Christine), and Matthew. A loving uncle and nephew, he leaves behind many cousins, friends, and FDNY brothers and sisters. Most importantly, John was a devoted husband to Nancy, who continues to keep John’s legacy alive.