New York City Police Department Mounted Unit Officer, New York • Line of Duty Death: January 18, 2023
On January 18th, 2023, New York City Police Department Mounted Unit Officer Francis Gaynor passed away in his home surrounded by his family due to a 9/11 related illness.
Gaynor was born and raised in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. He grew up in a family of law enforcement officers including his father, Dennis, who was also a mounted officer for the NYPD, his uncle, who was an NYPD officer, as well as his brother Dennis who is a Lieutenant for the Port Washington Police Department. As a child, Gaynor was an avid boy scout, and enjoyed spending time with his father partaking in activities such as hiking and camping.
Gaynor admired his father very much and chose to continue in his footsteps by becoming a NYPD Officer for the Mounted Unit. He attended the police academy in June of 1995, where he would meet the love of his life, Lori. Shortly after graduation, he began working full time with the NYPD and was even partners with his wife Lori, before they became a couple. Gaynor loved his job because it enabled him to meet new people and ride around New York City on horseback. Gaynor, under the direct supervision of his Commanding Officer and friend, Deputy Inspector Barry Gelbman, created a “Line of Duty Memorial Wall” including the names of all fallen mounted police officers, which now includes his name as well.
Gaynor was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma attributed to his service at Ground Zero in the months following the attack on the World Trade Center. Gaynor developed a tumor in his bile duct and later received a liver transplant in February of 2021. In March of 2022, Gaynor learned his cancer had returned and spent the following 10 months fighting valiantly everyday until he finally succumbed to his illness.
Gaynor is remembered as a loyal family man who clung to his faith throughout times of hardship. Though his battle with 9/11 related illness was difficult and often painful, he remained positive and continued to show strength and humility until the very end.
NYPD Mounted Unit Officer Francis Gaynor is survived by his loving wife Lori, their 3 children: Theresa, Melanie and Sean, two grandchildren Jackson and Kayla, his parents Trudy and Dennis Gaynor, and his brother Dennis, Jr.