John J. Tobin
In the winter, John J. Tobin helped neighbors shovel out from under the snow. In the summer, he often helped mow their lawns. One week in July was reserved for the annual family trip to the seashore and every weekend for the traditional family dinner out.
“He really just liked to be at home,” said his wife, Barbara Tobin. “He didn’t have to go places to enjoy himself. He liked to be around the house, having barbecues and watching sports.”
Mr. Tobin, a senior vice president of the FINPRO Division for Marsh and McLennan Inc., was a dedicated worker. But in his off time, he took pleasure in coaching his son’s Little League team, watching the Mets or Jets on TV and spending time at home with his wife and two children.
Mr. Tobin worked in Midtown Manhattan, but last Tuesday he left his Kenilworth home early to attend a meeting on the 99th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, which was hit by a hijacked plane. He was 47.
Family members remember him as a good-hearted, quiet family man who did not distinguish between the custodians in his office and his highest ranking colleagues. “He treated everybody the same,” said Barbara Tobin, his wife of 24 years. “He was very modest. You wouldn’t know the kind of job he had. He didn’t drive a Lexus or wear a Rolex. He didn’t need material things. He didn’t need a fancy car. As long as it took him to the train, that’s all that mattered.”
Mr. Tobin was the father to Jennifer, 19, and Sean, 11. The Tobins would have celebrated their wedding anniversary next month.
A Bronx native, Mr. Tobin attended Cardinal Hayes High School, where he ran track and graduated in 1972. After high school, in order to help his family, Mr. Tobin went to work for Equitable Life Insurance Company but enrolled in night school, earning his degree from Manhattan College in 1976. While working at Equitable, he met Barbara Wilk. They were married in 1977.
“He always cared very much for his family,” said his brother, Michael Tobin, of Bogota. “He was probably old before his years in terms of assuming responsibility.” Mr. Tobin joined Marsh & McLennan in 1984. Despite working long hours, he always set aside time to help his children with their activities and instilled in them the importance of education. “He pushed my kids to be the best they could be,” Mrs. Tobin said.