Following 9/11 the New York Times ran Portraits of Grief profiling many of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. It is impossible to capture the magnitude of the loss, or the meaning of who and what we lost, but the Times’s focus on individuals made a contribution. Taking just one small slice, I want to collect the Times’s portraits of Dartmouth alumni who lost their lives on 9/11 that I have been able to dig out from the series:
Juan P. Cisneros ’99
Juan Cisneros never intended to spend the rest of his life in New York. He would work as a bond trader until he could pay off his college loans and put away money for his parents. Then, said his girlfriend, Stephanie Albert, they planned to move out West. They would go to graduate school and become professors. He would teach history, she would teach English.
Mr. Cisneros, 24, who lived in Manhattan, was gentle and patient. He loved running and reading. “You’re going to do what?” Ms. Albert asked him, incredulous, when he told her he was taking a job at Cantor Fitzgerald. His parents had immigrated from Guatemala when he was 6. He went to Dartmouth College, volunteered as a Big Brother and fell in love with Ms. Albert.
One Saturday afternoon two months ago, they found themselves in New Jersey, having offered to help a friend set up for her husband’s 40th birthday party. Alone in a room with a view of Manhattan, they began dancing. They were joking, teasing, making grand plans for how they would celebrate each other’s 40th when the time came.
“Thrilled with the present, excited about the future,” Ms. Albert remembered sadly. “And it absolutely takes my breath away that we won’t even be able to spend our 25th birthdays together.”
Christopher Colasanti ’90
One phrase in a book on grieving that someone gave her after her husband, Christopher Colasanti, was killed in the World Trade Center attack has stayed with Kelly Colasanti: “The best way to know God is to love many things.”
Kelly and her two daughters went to Liberty State Park, where a memorial wall has been set up for victims, and she wrote, “Chris loved many things. We love you. We miss you. You’re with us.”
It is a small tribute to the love of her life, to the end of what friends and neighbors often cited as the perfect family. Here are some of the moments and familiar details that stick in her mind: Christopher grew up in South Orange, N.J. and met Kelly in high school. They went to the prom together. He graduated from Dartmouth and became a trader at Cantor Fitzgerald. The young family lived in Hoboken. The night before the attack, Mr. Colasanti gave their girls, Cara and Lauren, their baths. Then he showed Cara his baseball card collection. “We’ll be a strong family, the three of us,” Kelly said. “We have to live this way because he was so great. We can’t let it not be great here because it was so great.”
Kevin P. Connors (Tuck) ’73
Whether it was climbing a mountain, playing charades or challenging his four brothers and his sister to a game of Monopoly, Kevin Connors would not be defeated. At work, there was the thrill of picking the next big investment for clients of Euro Brokers, where he was a vice president. At home, the simplest of family gatherings became thrill-seeking adventures. Children would be pitted against adults, and Mr. Connors, 55, would side with the team he thought had the best chance of winning.
“My brother was a voracious fan of winning at all things,” said Sheila Connors LeDuc. “He once bought a boat to sail around the world. When it sank off the coast of South America, he beat the ocean by not drowning.”
And when planes struck the World Trade Center, Mrs. LeDuc was certain that her brother would survive once more. Slowly, she has had to accept another probability. “This was bigger than the boat going down,” she said. “I just hope he is at peace and that those of us who mourn him can come to the same peace.”
Kevin R. Crotty ’80
The ladies behind the counter at a bakery in Summit, N.J. used to look forward to Saturday mornings when Kevin R. Crotty would show up with his three children. With wild candy-store looks in their eyes, Megan, 7, Kyle, 5, and Sean, 2, would load up on cookies and chocolate and glazed doughnuts and doughnut holes.
But it has been more than a month since Mr. Crotty took his children to the bakery. Mr. Crotty, 43, worked as a bond trader at Sandler O’Neill & Partners on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center. Besides the bakery, he could be seen taking the children to soccer practice and dance lessons.
“I’ve been very open with them about it,” said his widow, Lori Crotty. “The more I talk about it, the more comfortable they are. Sean is having a hard time, but it’s going to take time.”
Joseph Flounders ’77
Every weekday, Joseph Walkden Flounders arose at 3:30 a.m. at his home in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. He drove to Harrison, N.J., then took a train so he could be at his desk by 8:30 a.m. on the 84th floor of 2 World Trade Center, where he was a money-market broker at Euro Brokers.
“The house was his sanctuary,” said his wife of 21 years, Patricia. They had slaved away, renovating it ever since they moved there three years ago from Brooklyn Heights, after her health problems spurred him “to find a better quality of life for both of us,” she said. “We’d been working on the house three years, and three days before he died, we finished it.”
The memorial service for Mr. Flounders, 46, will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Church in Manhattan, where he had worshiped, his wife said. “The reception will follow at Fraunces Tavern, because they, too, were once bombed, and we thought it would be appropriate to have it there, since they suffered, as well.”
Jeffrey E. LeVeen ’68
See them there, those five adult children at the Dave Matthews Band concert? The ones huddled together, mortified? And note that blissful, aging teenager next to them, about 55 actually, in khaki pants and Docksiders, blue eyes blazing as he jumps up and down, bellowing his request: “`Proudest Monkey’! `Proudest Monkey!'”
By day, Jeff LeVeen of Plandome, N.Y., was a chieftain in the financial world, a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, an Ivy Leaguer and the owner of two well-appointed homes and a golf handicap of 3. By night, he was a rock groupie who attended nearly a dozen Dave Matthews concerts a year.
You allowed a father like that his nuttiness. He plunked down and listened to Phish because one son asked him to. He negotiated with his wife, Christine, about discipline, pleading for leniency. He swept up his bucketful of kids to take them fishing, clothes shopping, to N.B.A. games.
He kept his privileged background and considerable achievements to himself, but boasted like crazy about the children. A happy man with a year-round tan, he would sing, “Now I am the proudest monkey you’ve ever seen!”
Frederick C. Rimmele III ’97
The first time Kimberly Trudel met Frederick Rimmele III, he was far ahead on a hiking trail in New Hampshire, a dot in the distance. Gradually, he kept dropping back to others in the group, until, walking with his shirt off, he found himself chatting with Ms. Trudel. “Those hiking boots look awfully small,” he said, using a pickup line straight out of an L.L. Bean catalog. She responded, “If you want to check out my feet, you could give me a foot massage at the end of this hike.”
He did, and a romance blossomed. That was the summer of 1994. A year later, they became engaged on the side of a mountain in Maine. In June 1997, they married, settling in Marblehead, Mass. At 32, Dr. Rimmele was a physician who directed a residency program affiliated with Beverly Hospital in Beverly, Mass. He was popular with his patients, who, when they could not remember his name, asked for the doctor with the beard and the ponytail.
“He recognized that life was a precious gift and he never took it for granted,” Ms. Trudel said of Dr. Rimmele, who was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 175. “He took advantage of every opportunity, whether it was travel or educational.”
Thomas F. Theurkauf, Jr. (Tuck) ’81
The head of the sunfish was attached to one side of the hook. The other side of the lure was embedded in Thomas Theurkauf Jr.’s hand. His son Henry, 9, frantically rowed the boat to shore, making a few erratic circles. Mr. Theurkauf waved his hand wildly, trying to shake the fish and hook from his hand.
Mr. Theurkauf’s wife, Robin, severed the fish head and rushed him to the hospital. “They successfully treated Tom,” his brother Bill said at a recent memorial service. “The fish didn’t make it.”
But, oh, how Mr. Theurkauf loved to tell that tale of the one that would not go away.
As an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, which had offices on the 89th floor of 2 World Trade Center, Mr. Theurkauf gave countless television and newspaper interviews. This year The Wall Street Journal named him the top banking analyst in the country. But his family and friends remember the less serious side. “He loved to make his friends and family laugh,” Bill Theurkauf said. “And was more than willing to laugh at himself.”
(First posted in 2006.)