Funeral for local firefighter

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Updated: 3/07 10:14 pm

CLINTON HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- Known as the Iron Fireman, 97-year old Stephen Gregory was the oldest member of the Clinton Heights Fire Association.

But at his funeral Friday, where many remembered him, that was just the feather in the cap of a long and remarkable life.

St. Mary's church in Clinton Heights was packed with family and friends remembering the long and remarkable life of Gregory -- which started with decades in the New York City Fire Department.

"He put 35 years into the NYC Fire Dept., rising through the ranks of it, working in some of the busiest areas of the city during some of the busiest times of fire activity in the city," said his son, Stephen Gregory Jr.

But his father didn't retire after those 35 years, he says instead of a father passing a job down to his son,and in the next phase of his life, one of his sons handed down a job to him.

"My brother Joe worked at Yankee Stadium, he started as a batboy working his way up to be a clubhouse man, then when Joe moved up to Albany to go to Siena College, he handed the job to my dad and he worked for the New York Yankees for many, many years," said his son.

Many in Stephen's family, including two sons, followed his footsteps in the fire department.

But whatever he did, the tradition for Stephen was to be there for everyone, in his fire house, in his family, and in his community.         

Gregory is survived by his wife of almost 74 years Helen, who he called "my bride" or "my sweetheart" until his last breath, three sons, three more grandsons, and many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends.

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