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Coronavirus Memoriam: Remembering MTA Conductor Ben Schaeffer And N.J. Police Officer Rob Roberts

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- CBS2 is continuing its series honoring victims of the coronavirus pandemic. Reporter Jessica Moore has more on two public servants who were committed to helping others.

Ben Schaeffer represented the beauty of life.

The 22-year veteran Metropolitan Transportation Authority conductor loved trains and relished the responsibility of transporting the people of New York City.

Friends describe him as amazingly loyal and proud, particularly of his Jewish faith.

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The 58-year-old was a community activist who fought the MTA to take time off for Rosh Hashanah. He never missed a sabbath and was an outspoken critic of social injustice.

Ben was committed to making the world a better place, often leading conversations with his famous line: "How can I help?"

He was loved by people because he loved people.

When the pandemic hit, Ben refused to stay home. He contracted COVID-19 on the job in early April and passed away on April 28.


Rob Roberts

Roberts always made time for others, and sought out ways to help.

The 45-year-old New Jersey police officer was known as "Mr. Glen Ridge," and was beloved by his colleagues, town residents, and, of course, his family.

His wife, Alice, said Rob played by his own rules, and encouraged others to do the same, never judging and always smiling.

He was known to treat every kid in the neighborhood when the ice cream truck went by, and once turned down the hard-earned role of detective because it meant fewer chances to randomly help residents.

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Rob adored his three children, making their lunches every day, watching hockey and soccer games with them, and driving them around in his Jeep.

When he wasn't working overtime to provide for his family, Rob coached soccer and basketball in town. He never yelled and was always ready with a joke.

Rob collapsed on April 21, after contracting COVID-19 on the job. He passed on May 11 and was posthumously promoted to sergeant.

Schaeffer and Roberts were public servants who leave behind lasting legacies.

For more remembrances, click here.

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