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Joseph Gullickson, who would have celebrated his fifth wedding anniversary on Sept. 28, 2110, was enamored of his young and growing family.
"We were a special couple and he absolutely adored his children," said his wife, the former Naoemi Perez. "Joe was a loving and protective family man. He was big in stature and spirit. He had a big laugh and a very gentle disposition." Mr. Gullickson loved taking his daughters -- Amanda, 3, and Isabel, 1 -- on outings to the Staten Island Zoo and Clove Lakes Park, and he was especially proud accompanying Amanda to preschool.
"He was very proud of his daughters, right from the start," his brother said. "He was excited about getting involved in their lives. Even after a long day at work, he would always find time to push Isabel down the street in her stroller while Amanda rode next to him on her scooter or bicycle."
Born in Westerleigh and brought to Todt Hill as a child, Mr. Gullickson settled in West Brighton in 1995.
"Joe was like sunshine on a cloudy day," said his mother, Patricia. "Most of all, I'll remember how he was always there with that radiant smile and great laugh. I'll miss him dearly."
Mr. Gullickson loved dogs, especially Lucy, his Rottweiler, who was bred from a dog owned by his father, Robert. He also was a big fan of the TV classic "The Honeymooners" and enjoyed listening to popular music. The Grateful Dead and Frank Sinatra were among his favorites.
"Joe had a great love of American popular standard music," said his longtime firefighter friend, Zeke Quin of West Brighton. "We would sit and listen to everything from Frank Sinatra to Merle Haggard, while trading one-liners from 'The Honeymooners.' I'll miss him."
A graduate of Moore Catholic High School, Mr. Gullickson was a patrolman with the city Police Department assigned to the 68th Precinct in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, for three years before joining the Fire Department in 1988.
He began his firefighting career at Engine Co. 243 in Brooklyn. In 1995, he was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to Ladder 101.
"Joe came to Engine 243 as a probationary firefighter who was eager to learn, respectful and polite," said Vincent Masucci, a retired lieutenant who knew Mr. Gullickson at the beginning of his career. "I took an immediate liking to him. He stood out and was a very likable guy."