From Police Heroes, a book by author Chuck Whitlock:
Port Authority Police Officer John Levi was working overtime on September 11 because he liked to have his weekends with his fiancée, Debralee. He called her twice, once when the first plane hit and again when he was in the basement of the World Trade Center searching for evidence.
Before he became a police officer with the Port Authority sixteen years ago, he was a mechanic at the Holland Tunnel. He had recently received a departmental commendation for his role in capturing a shooting suspect who arrived on a bus from Boston.
Levi was a thoughtful person who loved to build. He spent two years building his mother’s beauty parlor on the first floor of her Brooklyn house. On September 11, he was just one step away from finishing the remodeling of his childhood home. His mother, Johanna Levi, and Debralee plan to finish that last step: putting up the wallpaper.
Officer Levi is survived by his children Jennifer and Dennis and his granddaughter, Katarina.
Portraits of Grief, The New York Times
A Cop Who Rode a Harley
Debralee Scott walked into the Greenwich Village bar Hogs & Heifers on December 15, 1995, and there he was – a cop who rode a Harley. The rugged, tattooed man who wore a cowboy hat asked her to dinner. “It was love at first sight,” said Ms. Scott, an actress.
Five years later, on a cross-country trip, John Dennis Levi, a police officer with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, proposed to her in a hotel room in Winslow, Ariz., the town mentioned in an Eagles song. It was to be a March wedding.
But he took the call for overtime at 6 A.M. on Sept. 11, because he liked to be with her on the weekends. He called her when the first plane hit. He called again from the basement of the World Trade Center, as he searched for evidence.
He was thoughtful like that. He even made a beauty parlor for his mother, Johanna Priavity, below her Brooklyn home. He loved his children, Dennis and Jennifer.
“He’d like a lot of bikes at his funeral,” said Michelle Dell, the Hogs & Heifers owner. “He’d really like that.”