"His first toy was an electronic police bike that he would ride on," Menzies, 58, said of his firstborn child. "Everybody was saying that eventually he was going to become a cop. And it became true. He loved his job."
Menzies, 35, who worked as an NYPD officer for nine years, was killed early Monday morning when, according to authorities, a drunken driver going the wrong way on the Northern State Parkway collided head-on with his car.
At his childhood home Monday, several family members lamented the loss of Menzies, a father of five whose dedication to protecting the public came from watching his father, who worked in security at Kennedy Airport, according to relatives.
Menzies became a police officer a few years after his first wife died following an epileptic seizure, his family said. Her death left Menzies a single father to three young girls, Andrea, 15, Melisa, 14, and Tiffany, 12, who all came to live in Richmond Hill with his parents. Menzies remarried, moved to Babylon with his wife, Natacha, then moved with her to North Babylon, and had two more children, Joshua, 9, and Victorria Sky, 7.
"He had a lot of energy to run around with the kids. If he had a couple hours of sleep, whatever it was, with the kids and the family he'd be available," said Natacha Menzies. "He was just a hard worker there for us. And now he's gone, just like that."
Monday Natacha stood on her porch with her two children, surrounded by members of the Grace Community Christian Ministries of Amityville, where the couple worshiped. The couple's youngest burrowed her head into her mother, crying, "I want Daddy." Menzies' only son, Joshua, remembered his father as a "very good basketball player."
Menzies' eldest child, Andrea, Monday spoke of her father's unwavering commitment to his children, whom he encouraged at every opportunity to become involved in school activities and athletics. Following Menzies' advice, his children all compete in sports, including softball, track and field, cheerleading, and basketball.
"He was about education," Andrea said. "We all did stuff so we'd do good in school and make him happy."
Tiffany called Menzies "a loving, caring dad," and Menzies' father said he was an equally good son who stayed close with his parents and three siblings - often still sleeping in his childhood home after coming off a shift as a housing officer in Queens.
"I'm still in shock. I can't believe it's happened to him. You hear all these stories where people who lose loved ones, and fathers and mothers who lose their sons and their daughters. And all of a sudden, reality sets in. I still can't believe this is true," said Robert Menzies, who saw his son as nearly invincible.
"All the time he was a cop, I knew he had a big heart. I didn't think anything would ever happen to him."