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Monday, September 11, 2006

Tribute to Michael J. Pescherine

This is only something small from me to pay tribute to Mike "Pesch" Pescherine, whom I've never met. His memory lives on in the hearts of his friends and family and my thoughts and prayers are with them on the anniversary of 9/11. Credits for the items used in the "page" above can be found here.

The Green Plaid Shirt

The shirt caught Lynn Beckman's eye as she was sitting at an Upper West Side bar five years ago. "It was hideous," she said recently. But the man wearing the green plaid shirt was looking her way so intently that she approached him. "I really like the shirt you're wearing," she told him.

Michael J. Pescherine's answer goes unrecorded, but the two talked until 2 a.m., started dating and were married in 1999. Mr. Pescherine, 32, was a bond trader at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and worked on the 89th floor of 2 World Trade Center.

Michael and Lynn Pescherine were inseparable. They ran the 1999 and 2000 New York marathons together. In their Upper West Side apartment last summer, they watched as the telltale lines on her pregnancy tests got bluer and bluer. "You're getting more pregnant by the minute," he screamed in delight.

Such moments more than made up for Mr. Pescherine's awkward confession that he had not really noticed his future wife at the bar that first night. He was actually watching a Knicks playoff game on the television set above her.

His family — his parents, one sister and three brothers — are awaiting the birth of Mr. Pescherine's son in March. Lynn Pescherine's friends are making the baby a quilt with the green plaid shirt at its center.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 6, 2001.

Michael Pescherine, 32, a top achiever

From the time he was a boy, Michael John Pescherine wanted to be a football player. But a back problem concerned doctors enough that his parents decided to keep him off the football field.

"That was always a heartbreak to him," said his mother, Anne Pescherine. "When he wrote letters as a kid, he would always write that he was going to be a football star."

Yet Mr. Pescherine -- Mike to his friends, or just "Pesch" -- was the type to find a way around an obstacle.

He wound up wrestling and playing baseball at Parsippany High School, where the Denville native graduated with honors in 1987, and for the past two years he ran in the New York City Marathon.

When friends and family gather on Oct. 2 to mourn Mr. Pescherine, who was lost Sept. 11 in the collapse of the South Tower of the World Trade Center, the many accomplishments of his 32 years are what they will recall.

"He was very resilient. That's the kind of guy he was," said his sister, Nancy Gionco of Chester. "He always rose to the occasion and excelled at whatever he did. To most of us, it appeared effortless. It seemed to come naturally."

Still, she said, Mr. Pescherine worked for his success: "When he was a kid he broke his leg, but he insisted we pitch balls to him even though he had a cast."

And he remained devoted to football, if only from the sidelines. He was a huge fan of the Nittany Lions at Penn State University, his alma mater, and the Giants.

He was a top-notch student, as well, earning a master's degree in business finance, and was a successful bond trader, for the last two years with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, on the 89th floor of the Trade Center's South Tower.

He lived with his wife, Lyn, on Manhattan's Upper West Side, and she is to deliver their first child in March. In anticipation of that birth, the family is asking that in lieu of flowers donations be made to an education fund for the child.

The memorial Mass will be held at 7 p.m on Oct. 2 at St. Peter the Apostle Roman Catholic Church in Parsippany, where Mr. Pescherine was baptized and confirmed.

Mr. Pescherine is survived by his wife; his parents, Anne and Thomas; four siblings; and five nieces and nephews.

Profile by David Gibson published in THE STAR-LEDGER.

Pescherine 'smart and hard working'.

Collegian Staff Writer

Michael Pescherine was many things. He was a graduate of Penn State's Smeal College of Business. He was a bond salesman. He was a runner. He was a Nittany Lion football fan. He was a husband, a son, a brother and was soon to be a father.

Michael Pescherine did a lot of living in his 32 years.

Tom Pescherine, Michael Pescherine's brother, said words like ambitious and intelligent come to mind when he thinks of his brother.

"He had that combination of smart and hard working," Tom Pescherine said.

"He had a lot of natural ability, but he also worked very hard."

Michael Pescherine was working at the investment-banking firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. in the World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11.

Charlie Crowley worked with Pescherine for more than six years at various investment banking firms.

Crowley remembers Pescherine for his commitment to his job, but also for the strength of his character.

"Honest, hardworking -- these are words that you don't say lightly about Mike. Some people throw them around, but with Mike there was a real integrity about him," Crowley said.

Though Crowley said Pescherine was an outstanding student in college, he said Pescherine was humble about his accomplishments.

"He was very modest. I think he got something like a 4.0 GPA at Penn State, but you'd never know it. He was very unassuming," Crowley said.

Pescherine received his undergraduate degree in 1991 and his M.B.A. in 1994, both from Penn State.

"He loved Penn State. He loved it so much he went back there for grad school," Tom Pescherine said, laughing.

Crowley said Pescherine remained an avid Nittany Lion football fan after graduating.

"Come this time of year, he was always talking about Penn State football," Crowley said.

"He always kidded about [Joe] Paterno, about when he was going to retire and how he was asleep on the sidelines," Crowley said.

Crowley said Pescherine enjoyed his work.

He said he liked coming up with strategies for his clients and loved numbers.

But Crowley said Pescherine also valued his time off.

"He put in a lot of hours during the week, so on the weekends he really spent time with his family," Crowley said.

Tom Pescherine called himself Michael Pescherine's "very big brother" because of the seven-year difference in their ages.

He said some of the best times he spent with his brother were in the last 21 months of his life, when Michael and his wife moved into Tom's apartment building.

"Because he was downstairs we had lots of dinners; we spent a lot of time together. He got to know my kids really well," Tom Pescherine said.

Despite back and neck injuries, Michael Pescherine was an avid runner, racing in the New York City Marathon in 1999 and 2000 with his wife, Lynn.

He took up running to spend more time with his wife, Crowley said.

Lynn Pescherine gave birth to their son, Ryan Michael Pescherine, in February. Crowley said the baby looks like Pescherine.

"He's a very happy little baby," Tom Pescherine said.

1 comment:

Lynn Pescherine said...

I stumbled upon this one night while looking for something else. Michael was my husband; that is our son Ryan in those pictures. i'm not quite sure where you got the pix from, but it is a beautiful tribute to my darling Michael. I miss him every day, 10 years later. Thank you for your lovely tribute to my family.

Lynn Pescherine

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