Feb. 28, 1965 — Aug. 28, 2018
Few people are immediately identifiable by their initials, but "if you mentioned 'JB' almost anywhere in Buffalo, people knew who you were talking about," said John R. Broderick's longtime companion, Eleanor M. Hudson.
Not only did he have nine siblings, "he had a wide and diverse range of friends that he welcomed into his home and watched over," Hudson said.
Mr. Broderick, a Buffalo firefighter and a registered nurse, died unexpectedly Aug. 28 in his North Buffalo home. He was 53.
He recently celebrated his 20th anniversary as a firefighter and was assigned to Engine 2.
Mr. Broderick was born in North Buffalo, the twin of Thomas and the youngest of 10 born to Joan (Rogers) Broderick. The twins joined siblings Timothy, Elizabeth, twins Kathleen and Colleen, Bridget, Patricia, Kerry and Margaret.
He attended School 54 and graduated from Lancaster High School in 1983. He enlisted in the Army and served for two years before his discharge, after which he enrolled in Fredonia State College.
He worked as an aide for years at Sisters Hospital and studied at Sisters Hospital School of Nursing. After graduation, he was licensed as a registered nurse and continued to work at the hospital.
In April 1998, he joined the Buffalo Fire Department.
On Christmas Day 2002, when Mr. Broderick was assigned to Ladder 4, he helped transport to the Children's Hospital emergency room a baby who was born in a car during a blizzard three blocks away.
The baby's father was frantically driving to the hospital, but "the baby had different plans," Mr. Broderick told The Buffalo News.
An unidentified nursing student stopped and delivered the baby boy. Mr. Broderick scooped up the baby and hopped onto the ambulance gurney.
When the medics wheeled the gurney in, "in full dress, he was cradling this baby in his arms," said Denise Meissner, a registered nurse at the hospital. "It was the most adorable, heartwarming sight, seeing this firefighter holding onto this baby."
Mr. Broderick was sweating profusely because the ambulance's heat had been turned up high to keep the newborn warm, prompting Meissner to say, "You don't look like the mother."
"It's a little baby boy, a little Christmas gift," Mr. Broderick told The News.
Mr. Broderick loved living and working in Buffalo. "He was a city promoter; he loved the city," said his sister Kathleen Morrisey.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Club 929 in Dunkirk. Hudson said he was "a huge Yankees fan like nobody's business, a huge Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan."
"He was a fine Irishman, and very proud of that," Hudson said.
Besides Hudson and his sister Kathleen, he is survived by his siblings Timothy, Bridget Baumgartner, Kerry, Margaret Lowinger and Thomas; and many nieces and nephews.
Services with military honors will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, in Mount Olive Baptist Church, 701 E. Delavan Ave., Buffalo.