Brian K. Ahr, 49, a former West Brighton resident, retired FDNY firefighter, master carpenter and steadfast family man, died Thursday at his home in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Mr. Ahr was a first responder at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as to the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in the Rockaways, Queens, on Nov. 1 of that year.
Born in New Brunswick, N.J., he moved with family to West Brighton as a young boy and graduated from Port Richmond High School, where he played on the football team.
Mr. Ahr had a 17-year career with the FDNY, assigned to Ladder Co. 166 in Brooklyn. He retired in 2011. He also was deployed with other firefighters to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
He was a master carpenter, and the work he did at the former Scott's Armory Inn in Castleton Corners was considered his crowning achievement, family said. He was happy to share his building skills and talent to help neighbors, and anyone else, who needed help with their projects.
Mr. Ahr was a hands-on father and loved to spend time with his children, including volunteering as a coach for their sports teams.
He was full of life, friendly and outgoing.
"He was a big, bright, ball of energy," said his daughter, Brittany Ahr.
Mr. Ahr loved music, everything from the singing of Frank Sinatra to Kool and the Gang, and would always be the first one singing and dancing along to whatever was playing.
"He was the first to do everything," said his daughter, Brittany. "He was the first to sing karaoke, the first to get in his car to go help people, the first to walk into a room and break the ice, talking to everyone."
Mr. Ahr rooted for the New York Yankees and football Giants, and enjoyed going to games with his FDNY buddies.
But his most important team was the family he treasured, including his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
After retiring, Mr. Ahr relocated to Myrtle Beach, where he enjoyed golfing with his friends, and found and rescued his dog, Buddy, his new best friend.
While living on the Island he was a parishioner of Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church, West Brighton.
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