Remembering and Honoring our Founder and Friend, Rusty Staub


Message from Our Chairman:

Late last night, we lost our founder, our friend and a pillar of the community. For more than thirty years, Rusty dedicated his life to helping others.  He worked tirelessly on behalf of the widows, widowers, and children of New York City’s fallen heroes.  Due to his vision and his leadership, the NY Police and Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund has provided over $140 million to date to the families of fallen FDNY, NYPD, and PAPD heroes killed in the line of duty. He cared about each and every family and they felt the same way about him.  Rusty started more than just a charity – he started a family.  While many admire Rusty for his impressive record as a baseball player, it is his work off the field that truly made him one of the greats.  We will miss his laughter, friendship, and leadership, but we will work to carry on his mission through our continued stewardship of the charity he founded.

We lost a great one today and I will forever cherish all that we did together in an effort to make a difference in the lives of those in need.  Rest in peace my friend.

-Stephen Dannhauser, Chairman of the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Children’s Benefit Fund


29 Comments on “Remembering and Honoring our Founder and Friend, Rusty Staub

  1. Robin Lipman says:

    Well….. I couldn’t bring myself to open my computer today as I couldn’t bear to see the devastating news in print, but I wanted to post this HERE because I want to HONOR my LIFETIME HERO, and share with all of you, the ENORMOUS impact Rusty Staub has had on me in my lifetime ….
    What an AMAZING, AMAZING man! I even knew it as a 10 year old girl, the first time I saw his GORGEOUS head pop out of the Mets dugout at Shea Stadium for the 1st time on his first day as a New York Met back in the early ’70’s. The moment I saw him, fireworks LITERALLY went off in my head…. just like in the movies, and ever since that moment, every WONDERFUL childhood memory I have, revolved around this REMARKABLE man!
    I can’t even begin to tell you what he’s meant to me, and what an incredible inspiration he has been to me in my life …..
    Of course I ADORED him as a ballplayer throughout his entire career….. his presence at the ballpark was just MAGICAL to me, and as I said, my favorite childhood memories are ALL ABOUT RUSTY….. I would watch the Mets games religiously, with my heart MELTING by his every move, and every gesture. His ADORABLENESS just filled my heart beyond words!!!! Whether it was with his bat, or his glove, or just his overall style and humanity, he would NEVER disappoint…. he just filled my heart with SO much, and ALWAYS, ALWAYS will ….. <3
    As a little kid, after EVERY game, I would sit down and write him letters, POURING my heart out to him! He was SO SWEET…. it meant SO MUCH to me to know that he actually read them, because he would send me autographed pictures and write notes on the back of them to me, responding to some of the crazy things I would tell him, like when I told him that I loved his ‘real’ name Daniel Joseph, he signed the picture he sent, “My best to you, Danny Joe”….. Needless to say, I took that picture EVERYWHERE with me, and wore a locket to school every day with his picture in it….. <3
    Years later when we moved to Florida and we were able to see him at Spring Training, up close and personal, I asked him if the name Robin Lipman sounded familiar to him. He looked and me and said, “Really???? You’re Robin Lipman!!!!???? It is SO nice to finally meet you!!!! Let’s take a picture together!” …. and then I sat down with him after practice, and showed him my ENORMOUS scrapbooks containing EVERY PICTURE and EVERY piece of memorabilia that was EVER printed of him. He was SO WONDERFUL, he looked at each and every TREASURE I had, giving me more details about each and every item. What a TRUE, TRUE CLASS ACT and AMAAAAZING man…..
    …. AND ….. that night at the game, he cracked his bat and saved it for me! DON’T ASK!!!! That bat did not leave my sight, and to this day, is one of my most CHERISHED TREASURES EVER….. along with his game-used batting gloves, game-worn baseball cap, game-worn uniform, personal Mets jacket, game-worn cleats, Rusty’s Restaurant items, (including the BONES from his famous ‘Rusty’s Ribs’ that he cooked!) …. those always get a laugh!
    Needless to say, in my adult life, my LOVE and ADMIRATION continued to grow, and the more I learned about what an INCREDIBLE ALL-AROUND WONDERFUL HUMAN BEING he is, just filled my heart EVEN MORE….
    The work Rusty Staub has done STRAIGHT FROM HIS HEART, for the 9-11 victims, The New York City Police and Fire Widow's and Children through Answer the Call, Food Banks throughout New York City, and countless other charities is absolutely ASTOUNDING, and BEAUTIFUL, I am SO thankful to have known SUCH a WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL person who has inspired me BEYOND words for EVERYTHING GOOD in this world…. <3
    Needless to say, when I learned of the horrendous news this morning (and I can’t even type the words….), while I was driving to work, I had to pull off the road…. I’m just completely DEVASTATED…. I have been praying for him NON-STOP ever since I heard about him being in the hospital and in such a bad way ….. he was supposedly getting better…. Keith Hernandez announced it during the game this weekend and I was so relieved…. I just pray he didn’t suffer too much, and if that’s the case, I’m thankful that he’s out of pain…
    Rusty – thank you SOOOO much for all the IMMEASURABLE joy you have brought to me in my life…. I want you to know that I will ALWAYS support ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that is near and dear to your heart because YOU ARE, and ALWAYS WILL BE near and dear to mine. Thank you for a LIFETIME of PRICELESS, WONDERFUL memories that I will TREASURE and CHERISH FOREVER…. I LOVE YOU with ALL my heart and soul ….. <3

  2. Barbara Sanchez says:

    I lost my husband and father to our children in a fire on January 7, 1976. At that time there was no organization to help us through tough times financially. Along came the wonderful Rusty Staub and his charitable heart. I cannot express my thankfulness when that first check came in the mail. That was just the beginning, parties, events, someone to reach out to, an extended family! So many families that he touched and helped. I will never forget all the good he has done. My God hold him in the palm of his hand and bless him with eternal happiness! With all the love and greatfulness: The Sanchez Family, Ladder Company 131 Red Hook, Brooklyn

  3. james smith says:

    HEARTBROKEN . Rusty touched the lives of so many, bringing his light into our darkest time. May he rest in everlasting peace. Thank you Mr. Staub.

  4. D says:

    A true hero ! Thank you Rusty. Rest In Peace

  5. Theresa Giammona says:

    I am so saddened to hear of Rusty’s passing! He was tremendous, kind and generous soul with a huge heart! My daughters and I are forever grateful for him founding The New York Police and Fire Widows and Children’s Benefit Fund and for his ending love and support. He will truly be missed! May he Rest In Peace.

  6. Ann Bugdin Cummings says:

    Our deepest sympathy to Rusty Staub family. He truly was a beautiful human being while here on earth. His generosity will always be remembered by all the families he has helped. We salute you Rusty for a job well done. The family of Ptl Frank Bugdin. God Bless you

  7. Margie Wilkinson says:

    So very sorry to hear of the passing of Rusty Staub. He truly took the children who lost a parent in the Line of Duty to heart. He gave them many happy memories meeting the Mets and rooting for them at the stadium. Rusty Staub also helped to ensure that the children would have a secure future. My children and I will remember him with much love and appreciation for his kindness.

  8. Carol D'Allara says:

    Heaven has gained a new angel and we have lost an amazing, generous and kind man in the death of Rusty Staub. Our condolences to his family and his extended family members, community, Foundation family and NY Police and Fire Widow, widowers & Children families.Our hearts are broken but your charitable legacy will always be remembered and cherished. Thank you Daniel “Rusty” Staub for all you have done on earth. May you now rest in peace.

    1. JOANN BELL BLAKE says:

      Rest In Peace Rusty. I was heartbroken to hear about Rusty Thought he would pull through He was and is an inspiration for all of us to follow. He saw people struggling and hurting and Came to help them. We love him Will Miss Him Terribly.

  9. Elizabeth Vairo Edgar says:

    He has taken us all through some very hard times God bless him for for always being there for us And I want to thank answer the call for the hard work that they do we are always considered sisters 🙏🏼

  10. Brittany Bielfeld says:

    My heard is sadden for the lost of a amazing man who brought so much Love to me & my family & touched so many other lives with his genorosity love & gifts.
    Sleep with the Angels Rusty you will alway’s be Loved & Mist.

    Love Always Brittany Bielfeld

  11. The Family of Lt. Robert M Regan FDNY says:

    Rusty Staub had a heart that was beyond generous, and ours will remain forever grateful for his life. His support of those lost in the line of duty set the bar high for those who’ve come along since. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends who have lost a treasure. Let them find peace knowing he was welcomed into eternal rest by all of our loved ones who have gone before him.

  12. The entire staff at Vascular Diagnostic in Flushing mourns the loss of Rusty. We have the priviledge of testing members and their families for the FDNY since 1981. When the 911 tragedy occurred, we lost 35 FDNY patients and still feel that loss. NEVER FORGET was part of what Rusty Staub stood for. Our patients donated towards this charity and we were so proud to send this small amount of money. He did not do it for the fanfare. He did this work out of a love for our City and all those brave men and women who had to leave their loved ones behind.

    He was a great baseball player but that was not enough. He will always be remembered as a wonderful and charitable human being. Sandy Rossano-Methlie

  13. Millie Alcamo Chamberlain says:

    There are no words that define what he did for the children of those we lost in the Line of Duty. Rusty also contributed so much to the underprivileged communities. His character and class speaks for itself. He is irreplaceable and we will be forever grateful for his commitment and generosity to so many of us. Rest In Peace Rusty

  14. Marcela Leahy says:

    I am heartbroken by the news of Rusty’s passing. As a child I remember cheering Rusty on at Shea Stadium, “Go Rusty Go” never knowing that one day he would become such an important person in my life. Rusty was there for my family in our darkest days and the years that followed. Being the Mother of 3 boys meant baseball would be a big part of our lives. When James was taken from us baseball was a reminder to my boys that Dad was gone. It wasn’t until the game at Shea Stadium that the joy of baseball slowly returned. The smiles on their faces as they were surrounded by other families that understood their pain is something I will be eternally grateful to Rusty for. The world lost another Great Man today. My thoughts and prayers to the Staub family.

  15. Scott Gerber says:

    Rusty – you were a Giant among humans! Your heart, passions and caring for others in their most painful times will be rewarded in heaven. You were my loyal friend and constant champion! You will live on in my heart and I’m certain, many others. Rest In Peace my friend. You hit it over the Center field wall on so many levels in life. Scott Gerber Martin Scott Wines

  16. ann driscoll says:

    A true hero may he Rest In Peace. At the darkness moments after September 11, he brought a small piece of happiness to my life.

  17. Joanne Barbara says:

    So sadden to learn of the passing of Rusty Staub. Besides his athletic accomplishments, he will be remembered for his kind demeanor and generosity to the families of the fallen members of the NYPD, FDNY and PANY.
    With sincere condolences,
    Joanne Barbara

  18. Anne-Marie Reed says:

    Rest in Peace Daniel Joseph “Rusty” Staub. You were a true hero for so many of grieving families, during the darkest times that they were living through. Rusty all the great work that you and all the wonderful people who gave of themselves the organization that you co funded. Rusty was a true gentleman, always gave of himself and did not want to have all the accolades that came his way. I met him a few times when I worked in NY City and attending a few fund raisers. When I moved to Colorado in 1991 and could not attend the fund raisers I always sent a check each year in loving memory of a cousin who died on 9/11. God Bless You Rusty and May you Rest in Peace. Heaven has gained a very special man who in my opinion was an Angel On Earth. Now Rusty is the New Angel invited into Heaven. You will be missed by so many people. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends and all of those who loved him.

  19. Carmen Suarez says:

    So sad to hear of the Rusty Staub passing, a true legend but a remarkable human being in ever sense of the word. I became a NYPD widow on Sept. 11, 2001 and there are no words to describe how grateful I am and my daughter for all that he has ever done for us and his generosity was never left unnoticed. His kindness and his caring ways to all the Line of duty families was always evident, he always made sure that we knew that our heroes were never forgotten nor their families. My deepest condolences go out to his family and to all that loved him dearly. You will be truly missed Rusty. May you Rest in eternal peace and thank you for everything and will always remember you.
    Love always Carmen and JillIan Suarez

  20. Margaret Mosomillo says:

    So sad to hear about the passing of Rusty Staub. He was a wonderful human being with a heart of gold. May he Rest in Peace with all of our Angels above. Thank you for all the great memories throughout the years and all you’ve done for me, my family and countless others. You will be deeply missed. Rest in Peace.

  21. Tina Gray says:

    Heaven obviously has gained an angel and the Mets have gained some help from up above, but the world has lost a giant human being. Thank you for all you’ve done for the families of the fallen, for the hungry and for showing all of us how to be the best people we can possibly be. Rest in peace, Le Grand Orange. We love you and we’ll miss you.

  22. Martha Williams says:

    May God take your hand to rid you of all your pain and hurt we ill certainly miss your presence but will remember all the good yo did for the Fire and Police Line of duty families. Blessing to your family you left to morn for you.Rest in peace🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼💯💯💯we love you♥️♥️♥️

  23. Valarie Schiebel says:

    It was a sad day when my family and I heard of Rusty Staub’s passing. He truly was a great man. The Police and Fire Widows Benefit Fund created a family unity Rusty was very proud of. Thank you!! He will be missed.

  24. Gail Flood says:

    The angels must have needed an extra special player for their baseball team. Rusty Staub as always “Answered The Call”. Rest In Peace. You did so very much to help all us survivors. The Fire and Police Line of Duty families will never forget you. I’m glad I had the opportunity to Thank You in person for all your kind deeds. You will never be forgotten🙏🙏🙏🙏❤️

  25. Diana Hetzel says:

    My family and I were very saddened and shocked when we heard about the passing of Rusty. He was such a kind and generous man, loved deeply by many. Heaven has gained another wonderful Angel! Through his charity, we have seen brighter days and smiles on kids faces that were left saddened upon the passing of their LOD parent. Rusty opened up his heart and helped us to heal. You will always be remembered in the fondest of ways! Rest in peace. Prayers and love to your family.

  26. Ann O’Connor says:

    RIP Rusty. Your kindness and generosity will never be forgotten. Thank you for all that you have done for the line of duty widows and their families.

  27. Estella Brown says:

    My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Rusty Stuab. He will be missed, but he will never be forgotten.. I was truly sadden when i heard of the passing a great and wonderful human being. My his legacy continue on.

  28. Ella Washington says:

    You have indeed earned a chair at the table of Our Lord. You lived your Faith and shared it with so many.We Police and Fire Survivors will never forget you generosity. You reached out to the homeless and those in shelters. Your job is done and well done indeed. Rest In Peace and Thank you.

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