Thomas R. Clark
“Big hugs!” is how Thomas R. Clark used to announce his arrivals home to his wife, Lisa — a prelude to wrapping his arms around her. When their only son, Matthew, now 2, grew old enough to speak, he asked for a piece of the action. “Me too,” he’d squeal, smiling. Soon, Mr. Clark changed his opening line to “Family hugs!”
In the weeks after Matthew and the new arrival, Whitney, a girl, now 7 months, were born, Mr. Clark insisted on sleeping with them nuzzled up against his chest.
Saturday mornings were set aside for Mr. Clark and Matthew to breakfast together Father and son would pick up cocoa and pastries at Dunkin’ Donuts, then sit and watch the trains pass through the Summit, N.J., station.
Mr. Clark walked home from that station every day, returning from his job at Sandler O’Neill & Partners, where he was an equity sales trader. In the summer, when Matthew would play in front of the house, he could see his smiling father from halfway down the block, so he would run to him and jump into his arms.
This is how the family hug became a tradition with variations.
“We still do it, the three of us,” Mrs. Clark said, “and my son still smiles. He loves it.”
Mr. Clark would have been 38 today.
James Lee Connor
You always knew the precise moment when James L. Connor had decided that he liked you. He gave you a nickname. His wife, Jamie, was “Little.” A brother-in- law was “Hitter.” His youngest son, Jack, 4, rated two nicknames, “Mooshie” and “Buddha.” His mother, Ruth Ann, was simply “R.A.”
“If he had a nickname for you,” his sister, Cathy Dodge, said, “he loved you and that was his way of expressing it.”
Looking back, Mrs. Dodge said, it is now clear that golf, one of his great passions, was a “guiding force” in his life — the providential ingredient that nudged him in the direction of both his future wife and a successful career in investment banking. By caddying at the North Hempstead Country Club he came to the attention of a Bear Stearns executive who gave him his start in the business. And by attending the College of William and Mary, where he played on the golf team, he met his wife.
Mr. Connor, 38, of Summit, N.J., was a partner at Sandler O’Neill & Partners on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center. But he loved to take his clients for a round of golf. Sometimes he even gave them nicknames.
Kevin Raymond Crotty
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.”
Thomas I. Glasser
If Thomas Glasser had filled out an occupation form, it would have looked something like this: philosophy major- track star-stand up comic-restaurant owner-bartender-partner at Sandler O’Neill. Mr. Glasser was not a typical Wall Street guy, said his wife, Meg. That was all right with her, because she had an aversion to them until she met him, a moment she said was like time-lapse photography.
“I looked at him and I saw everything,” she said. “He walked in the door, and I knew that he was my husband.”
By 40, Mr. Glasser had added husband and father to his résumé. He could have also added wallet-rescuer: he earned a do-gooder reputation in high school when he returned a teacher’s lost wallet. Years later, he witnessed a robbery and chased the culprit. Again, the wallet was returned.
Mr. Glasser’s children, Dylan and Luke, are still a bit too young to appreciate their father’s focus on education, but other children are not. Mr. Glasser and his father, Gerald, had for years planned to start a charitable foundation. After Sept. 11, Mr. Glasser’s father continued with their plan. The Thomas Glasser Foundation will award scholarship money this year. “I can’t think of a better memorial to him,” Gerald Glasser said.
Robert A. Lawrence, Jr.
Robert Lawrence was infused with energy, and boy, could he organize. He lived in Summit, N.J., where he happened to have grown up, an area scattered with parents, cousins, aunts, uncles. He was the nucleus. “He would organize a Christmas lunch that started at noon, and before it ended it would be midnight,” said his wife, Suzanne.
A talented athlete, Mr. Lawrence played competitive tennis in college. As an adult, he continued to play tennis as well as hockey. He liked to win.
He imparted this competitive spirit to his son, Bobby, 9, as he coached him in his own hockey beginnings. The two of them went to a father-son hockey camp during the summer.
He was attentive, as well, to his daughter, Toland, 11. He liked to play the guitar to wind down, but also to entertain her. At night, he would invent songs for her. When she was a little younger, the two collaborated on the not overly well-known number “I Love Noodles.”
Mr. Lawrence, 41, used to work in New Jersey for a financial firm, and wanted nothing to do with heights. Nonetheless, he took a new job as a managing director at Sandler O’Neill & Partners, on the 104th floor of 2 World Trade Center. His first day was Sept. 10.
A. Todd Rancke
When A. Todd Rancke knocked you down, you did not want to get back up, because you were too busy laughing. Mr. Rancke, a managing director at Sandler O’Neill, had a teasing sense of humor that played on people’s flaws but did not generate any ill will, said his sister, Cindy Bienemann. “He could crack on you in a way without making you feel bad,” she said.
In fact, it seemed that he did just the opposite. Mr. Rancke, who would have been 43 today, was such a fixture in the Summit, N.J., community where he lived that people teased him about being mayor someday, said his wife, Deborah. He was so well loved by his clients that they would sometimes join him on family vacations with his wife and children, Christina, 11; Brittany, 9; and Todd Jr., 7.
For all his jocularity, Mr. Rancke was a gentleman at heart, a caring man whose primary concern was his family’s happiness. Mrs. Rancke sees that same quality in her children, especially her son. Now little Todd puts his arms around her when she’s sad, Mrs. Rancke said, “just like big Todd used to do.”
Clive “Ian” Thompson
As an international currency broker, Clive Thompson, who was known to almost everyone as Ian, did not fit the stodgy profile of high finance. Among fellow volunteers on the first-aid squad in his hometown, Summit, N.J., he was one of the guys, just more fun than most.
“He would make himself the fall guy, ” said Daniel MacMahon, a friend and fellow volunteer, who recalled Mr. Thompson’s being thrown into a swimming pool, and stepping up to be the target of water balloons, at Fourth of July picnics.
“He was a magical person,” said Mr. Thompson’s wife, Lucy, with whom he immigrated to New York in 1992 from southern England, bringing a zest for work, friends, food and good wine. “He was living in the fast lane, and always thinking of other people, not himself.”
Mr. Thompson, 43, worked pressure-laden hours at Euro Brokers, but by starting at 5 a.m., he managed to retain afternoons for other interests. There were the carpet-cleaning company that he founded, his volunteer work as an emergency medical technician and the meals he prepared for his wife and children, Ella, 13, and Rachel, 10.
He had “so many worlds that did not collide,” his wife said. Mr. MacMahon put it differently: “Ian was a Renaissance man.”
David Brian Brady
At 41, David B. Brady had the trappings of success: an office on the 39th floor of the World Financial Center, where he was a first vice president at Merill Lynch , and a home in Summit, N.J.
He also had his priorities: faith, family and friends. A devout Catholic, he attended Mass almost every day and occasionally wrote prayers, said his wife of 12 years, Jennifer. But he never made a big deal of it.
“He would just say, `I’m doing a cameo,’ ” said Joy Fingleton, an assistant.
And he made sure that his four children — Matthew, 9; Erin, 6; Mark 4; and Grace, 2 — saw him every day. “If he had an evening meeting, he’d stay home for breakfast,” Ms. Brady said. “Or sometimes he’d even come home for lunch.”
He was an eager school volunteer. “I think it was shocking to his clients, who would call to find out that he was gone for an hour but he would be back from reading in his daughter’s class out in Summit, N.J.,” Ms. Brady said.
On Sept. 11, he went to 1 World Trade Center to meet with a client on the 106th floor. Now, every night his family prays for him with the words he taught them: “Thank you, Jesus, for the love you bring. Thank you, Jesus, for everything.”
Even in the middle of his most hectic days, Mark Bruce rarely passed up an opportunity to pull a good-natured prank. The urge to play a practical joke might strike Mr. Bruce during a five-minute break from the harried bond-trading floor at Sandler & O’Neill Partners. He would call his brother, Steve Bruce, a bond trader in Los Angeles, and together they would make a quick conference call to an unsuspecting relative.
“We would call our cousins and say we were the Sears above-ground pool installers and there had been some confusion — did they want the new pool in the front yard or the back? We’d really have them going,” Steve Bruce recalled. “They’re not going to get too many more of those calls.” Mr. Bruce, who lived in Summit and worked on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, was killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He was 40. The California native had moved to the East Coast in 1991 and married Dawn Bryfogle. The couple met working in the securities industry and moved to Summit five years ago. His wife said Mr. Bruce had a great passion for the outdoors and loved to hike and flyfish.
To spend more time in the wild, the couple bought a weekend house near Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains. But Mr. Bruce had his heart set on a house in Montana. “He wanted to do it right now,” Bryfogle said. “I wanted to get more money in the bank.” It was an argument Mr. Bruce was very close to winning. “We were going to doing it,” she said. Mr. Bruce also loved competition and relished playing alongside his brother in pickup basketball games at a local park when both lived in Lower Manhattan. “He was a great competitor,” Steve Bruce said. “He didn’t hold a grudge if he lost. But he always wanted to make sure he got to play you one more time.”
After graduating from University of California at Chico, Mr. Bruce took a job as a management trainee for a retail store in California, but ultimately he wanted to be a bond trader, his brother said. He made it to Wall Street largely by teaching himself the intricacies of trading bonds. Once he got there, he often mentored younger colleagues. Steve Bruce said he learned at one of the memorial services for his brother that Mr. Bruce had had a particularly good day on Sept. 10 and was planning a special dinner for some of his company’s support staff for the night of the Sept. 12. “He was all pumped up to take some of the back office people to diner on that Wednesday,” Steve Bruce said. “He had done well and his attitude was: Let’s go share this.” In addition to his wife and his brother, Mr. Bruce is survived by another brother, David Bruce of Santa Rosa, Calif., and his mother; Diane Bruce of Windsor, Calif.