Scores of family and friends and the Police Department’s honor guard paid tribute to a Floral Park police officer Saturday who worked at Ground Zero and died of kidney cancer last week.
Gary Mausberg, 47, was remembered during his wake Saturday at Bernard F. Dowd Funeral Home in Jamaica as an officer who looked after his colleagues at the 73rd Precinct as their representative to the Patrolmens’ Benevolent Association.
“As a [union] delegate, he represented his men well,” said Patrick Geraghty, Mausberg’s co-PBA representative from the 73rd Precinct in Brooklyn and a friend of Mausberg’s for 10 years. “He took pride in his job. He was an incredible human being. His family was the most important thing in the world to him.”
One block of Hillside Avenue outside the funeral home was closed off to traffic at around 5:30 p.m. Saturday as the NYPD Emerald Society played bagpipes and marched in honor of Mausberg.
The Floral Park man was also given an NYPD helicopter fly-over and the NYPD honor guard folded the American flag draping his casket and presented it to his wife, Margaret.
Pedestrians stopped on the sidewalk to view the ceremony, with some taking pictures.
“It shows how people come to pay their respects,” Geraghty said.
Before joining the NYPD, Mausberg served in the Navy for four years after graduating high school.
Mausberg was sent to Ground Zero, where he searched for survivors.
The PBA submitted claims that Mausberg’s kidney cancer was caused by his work at Ground Zero.
Geraghty said Mausberg’s family believed the conditions there were responsible because Mausberg was a non-smoker and followed a health lifestyle.
Geraghty said Mausberg’s family was too distraught to comment.
Mausberg is survived by his wife, Margaret; two children, Adryan and Margaret; his father, Gerald Mausberg; his mother, Vivan Mausberg; and his sister, Carol Fitzner.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2008 Community News Group
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