The woods of northwest New Jersey may seem an odd setting for a memorial to a Wall Street stock analyst. But Dean P. Eberling’s friends say that riding his bike through the mud was one of Mr. Eberling’s true passions.
No matter how much success he had in Manhattan’s world of high finance, they said, he remained a grounded New Jersey guy. He was born, raised and educated in New Jersey. He married a Jersey girl and had a house at the Jersey Shore.
“He seemed as focused and sophisticated as anybody else, but he made no pretense,” said Gary Terpening, who teamed with Mr. Eberling in a 24-hour mountain bike race in Allamuchy Mountain State Park in August 2001. “He knew what he liked to do. With Dean, it was O.K. to be a kid.”
In the summer of 2002, a group of fellow riders hauled a half-ton chunk of granite to a spot along a trail in Allamuchy. Beneath a likeness of Mr. Eberling bounding downhill, it reads, “Ride like Dean.”
Squeezing joy out of life was one of Mr. Eberling’s specialties, said his wife, Amy, who had known him since 1978 and been married to him for 19 years. An analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, he helped two women at the firm escape from an elevator in the World Trade Center minutes before he was killed. He was 44.
In his last few years, his wife said, he had been trying to spend more time with his daughters, Cori, now 15, and Lauren, who turned 10 on the day of the terrorist attack. If he was at one of their ballgames, it was no secret, his wife said. “He was a heckler.”