Today We Remember Firefighter Peter Freund

Mr. Freund was a city firefighter for 22 years. He spent the last seven years as a lieutenant in Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Prior to that, he worked for 12 years in Engine Co. 18, Manhattan, after a brief stint in Ladder Co. 8, also Manhattan.

On the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, Mrs. Freund was driving a bus for her local public school district — she had just started the job four days before. Mr. Freund had been at his firehouse since Monday morning.

“I tried to reach him in the morning. I used a cell phone in the bus garage and got a busy signal,” Mrs. Freund said. “When I got to the middle school I found out what happened — I knew he was there.”

Mrs. Freund said other firefighters told her they last saw her husband in a stairwell in Tower 1.

Always athletic, Mr. Freund enjoyed jogging and coaching his children in the Minisink Valley Youth Baseball, Softball and Football leagues. While a Staten Islander, he played on the Jody’s Club Forest softball team.

“My husband lived every day to the fullest. He was always laughing and gentle spoken,” said Mrs. Freund. “What you saw is what you got. He wasn’t out to impress anybody and would help anybody in a heartbeat.”

Mr. Freund also had a lifelong love for astronomy.

“He actually built an observatory in the backyard with a removable roof,” said Mrs. Freund. “We’d go out there and listen to the Grateful Dead, have a campfire in the backyard and star-gaze — that was our entertainment.”

While a Staten Islander, Mr. Freund was a member of Eltingville Lutheran Church. In addition to his wife, Robin, surviving are his son, Peter C.; his two daughters, Dori Emma Freund and Julie Anna Freund; his stepson, Ronald J. Coronato; a brother, Charles T., and two sisters, Barbara Salvadore and Dr. Carol Marguerite Freund.