PLATTSBURGH, NY - New York State Trooper Brian Falb, of Morrisonville, served his whole career in Plattsburgh but lent his hand when others across the state needed him.
The father of four was laid to rest Monday after a hard fought battle with brain cancer.
As the people in his life tell it, Trooper Falb was a man you wanted to know.
“Brian was the friend you could always count on to be there,” said Alesia Terry, a cousin of Trooper Falb’s wife, during a eulogy.
“Great sense of humor, right up until his last days. The people that were around him really felt connected and he was able to connect with people at a moment's notice,” said Major John Tibbitts, NYSP Troop B Commander.
He’s described as a doting husband, a connected father and an impassioned state trooper.
“He was so proud to be a state police officer. Putting that uniform on was one of the best times of his day,” said Terry.
“He was dedicated. His coworkers looked up to him as a leader, loved him,” said New York State Police Superintendent George Beach II.
Trooper Falb spent 18 years in Plattsburgh as a state trooper but ventured throughout the state when duty called, including after Hurricane Sandy hit in 2012.
“He made the trip to Long Island. He was an integral part of the Dannemora manhunt and he served multiple tours at Ground Zero,” said Superintendent Beach.
It was that dedicated search and rescue effort after 9/11 that his family says lead to a stage four brain cancer diagnosis last year.
“Cancer did not define Brian nor did it break his spirit. He never gave up hope and remained fighting like a trooper right up until the very end. Brian's concern was not of himself but his children and Mary,” said Terry. "The last memory of Brian that will be with me forever is him playing with Mary's hair and rubbing her back as he clung to this life. Always wanting to show her the love, admiration and appreciation that he will forever have for her."
Trooper Falb and his wife, Mary, share three daughters and a young son.
At the funeral in Plattsburgh Monday, speakers read statements on behalf of each of the children:
“My dad was my first love, my first hero and my first loss.”
"I'm thankful of having so many memories of him that will carry with me forever.”
"I'm definitely going to miss hearing his voice in the crowd at every game."
"He was the best father, the best friend and the best example his son would ever have."
Falb, 47, is now the fourth New York state trooper to die from an illness related to their work at the World Trade Center site after 9/11.
"Other agencies are going through it at a greater rate than we are, with the World Trade Center related illnesses. While we're here today to remember Brian, don't forget all the other cops and emergency services workers that are going through the same thing,” said Major Tibbitts to reporters.
New York’s Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, along with law enforcement officials from several states including Vermont, New Jersey, North Carolina and California, attended Monday’s services.
In a statement, Vermont State Police Major Rick Hopkins wrote: “The Vermont State Police honor New York State Police Trooper Brian Falb’s many years of service to the people of New York, and wish to express our deepest sympathies and condolences to Brian’s family for their loss.”
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