Joseph Lovero never shied away from a disaster. He assisted the Jersey City Fire Department its in relief efforts for 30 years as a member of the Gong Club, a group of civilians who helped out at fire scenes. He served as a civilian fire dispatcher for the past six years, took photographs for the fire department, and was a former paramedic for 15 years. So hopping on a fire truck and aiding the fire department with communications efforts at the World Trade Center last Tuesday was not something he had to think twice about.
Like many others acting in the line of duty, that was the last time he was seen.
"All of Jersey City knew him," said Jose Cruz, deputy director of the Fire Department. "He was just the kind of person you want to know."
According to Cruz, Lovero was killed by the debris that followed the collapse of the Twin Towers.
Lovero is one of an estimated 2,000 New Jersey residents who were killed in last week's attack on the Twin Towers, comprising more than a third of the expected fatalities as the realistic hope of finding any survivors fades quickly. Many of these people come from Hudson County and, consequently, many are from Jersey City.
In addition to Lovero, Jersey City resident David LeMagne, a Port Authority police officer, died in the line of duty. LeMagne witnessed the planes crash into the buildings while having coffee with a friend at 1 Exchange Place and headed to the buildings immediately to assist in rescue efforts, officials said. The Port Authority housed its headquarters in the World Trade Center. LeMagne had joined the PA police force nine months ago. In his spare time, LeMagne worked for as a paramedic in Jersey City.
"He was a fantastic person," Cruz said, adding that LeMagne was a long-time friend. "One of the best kind of guys."
Community grieves together
In the past week, widespread memorial services at temples, churches and mosques have provided an outlet for mourning those lost in the tragic event.
On Wednesday, St. Paul's Apostle Church in the Greenville section held mass, honoring the deaths of people who once attended the church's Catholic school. During the service, Rev. Robert Anczak read off a list of names that included John Monahan, Paul Nimbly, Francis Nazario, James Mullen, Kristine Bordenade, Colleen Deloughery, Ana Santana, Harry Ramos, and Tom Sullivan.
"We tried to do a thing of hope," Anczak said, "and just concentrating on the personal, as opposed to the national."
At St. Peter's Prep, an interfaith service honored alumni who died in the attack and also the father of one current student.
David Donnelly, the school's alumni director, recalls meeting one alum - Tom Sullivan, who graduated in 1990 - on a few occasions. "He was generous financially as well as with his time," Donnelly said, discussing how he arranged field trips for the students to the World Trade Center. As a financial specialist, Sullivan generally worked on the floor of the stock exchange. But on Sep. 11 he found himself at a breakfast meeting at Windows of the World, the restaurant at the peak of the former Twin Towers.
Sullivan's brother-in-law, whom he worked with, was also with him at the time and also died. Sullivan grew up in Jersey City and resided there until he moved to Kearny two years ago. He left behind his wife Deirdre and two children.
Other alumni of the school that have been confirmed dead or are missing include John Crowe, Ed Keane, Robert Parks, and Keith O'Connor. Tim Hughes, the father of a current St. Peter's Prep student, also died.
"This is one event that has crossed all different levels of the school population," said James Horan, the vice president of planning and external affairs.
Although a complete list of the missing and known dead from Jersey City has not been compiled yet, some information has been released (see sidebar).
Acting Governor Donald T. DiFrancesco opened up a Family Assistance Center at Liberty State Park on Wednesday to provide a resource for families who want to report missing people or find out information on people previously reported. "The extent of last week's tragedy knows no bounds," DiFrancesco said. "We strongly encourage New Jersey families of victims and those still missing to come to the Family Assistance Center in Liberty State Park. There they will find the information and support they need during this difficult time."
The following names are missing or known dead individuals with ties to Jersey City:
John Richard Keohane, 41, Jersey City
Joseph Lovero, 60, Jersey City
Ronald Gamboa, 33, formerly of Jersey City
Robert Emmett Parks Jr., 47, Jersey City native
Sherry Bordeaux, 38, Jersey City
Rosa Julia Gonzalez, 32, Jersey City
Andrew LaCorte, 61, Jersey City
Tonyell McDay, 25, originally from Jersey City
Francis Nazario, 26, Jersey City
Bernard Pietronico, 39, formerly of Jersey City
Henry Ramos, formerly of Jersey City
Aida Rosario, 42, Jersey City
Ana Santana, formerly of Jersey City
Thomas Swift, 30, Jersey City