Monday, September 11, 2006

A Short, Incomplete Bio

From Newsday:

Gary H. Lee
His Granddaughter Was His Life
November 9, 2001

Gary Lee, a vice president of telecommunications at Cantor Fitzgerald and the general manager of voice data for Cantor subsidiary eSpeed, was a dedicated professional who was popular among his colleagues, his wife said. But away from his 102nd floor office in Tower One, Lee lived a simple life, spending much of his time with loved ones and indulging his penchant for collecting.

On any given Sunday during the football season, relatives said, Lee could be found on the sidelines rooting for the team his only child, Gary, was coaching. When he wasn't cheering on his son's team, he got his football fix watching Michael John-a distant relative he'd been close to since the youth was a toddler -show his prowess on the field.

Relatives said, though, that Lee, 62, was truly in his element in the company of his 3-year-old granddaughter, Julia Nicole, his "Ju Ju." Whether it was tooling around with her in her Barbie jeep or blowing their duck whistles at the Long Island Ducks game, it was often difficult to tell who was the toddler. He "lived for his granddaughter," said Eileen Lee, his wife of 40 years. "He just adored her."

Lee was a history buff who was fascinated with things from bygone times. He constantly scoured flea markets, his wife said, searching for items to add to his collection of stamps, eagles, bayonets and baseball cards. He was particularly proud of his 1948 Studebaker and was a fixture at vintage car shows across Long Island, she said.

Lee was born in Astoria to Josephine and the late Herbert Lee. One of nine children, he is survived by five siblings, James, Charles, Ronald, Thomas and Joanne.

Relatives said all who knew him felt the sting of his sarcastic humor, which invariably painted smiles on the faces of those within earshot. He was quiet, they said, but he made everybody laugh.

-- Collin Nash (Newsday)

November 28, 2001 (from the New York Times)

Gary H. Lee: The Incurable Collector

Bayonets. Eagles. Baseball cards. Hess trucks. Vinyl records. Matchbooks. Coins. Stamps. Old record players.

These were some of the things Gary H. Lee collected. Just about anything might meet his criteria and turn into a full- blown collection.

Mr. Lee, 62, and known variously as Uncle Dude, Big Gary or Pop Pop, lived with his wife, Eileen, in Lindenhurst, on Long Island, where the attic was very full. There is all this World War II gear up there — helmets, uniforms, bayonets. He had something like 150 bayonets and swords, 40,000 baseball cards, dozens of statues and pictures of eagles, every birthday and anniversary card he ever received. "He was collecting his whole life," said Gary A. Lee, his son. "And he never sold anything."

Mr. Lee, a senior vice president at Cantor Fitzgerald, did not collect cars, but he always wanted a Studebaker. About 15 years ago, he bought a 1948 model that he lovingly restored and took to car shows, winning several first- and second-place trophies.

His wife and son are trying to sort through his myriad collections. Some of the bayonets are being donated to a new World War II museum that the town of Babylon is opening in Lindenhurst. As for the baseball cards, the eagles and the Hess trucks, his son is going to continue those collections. "I think he would want me to," he said.

These sketches were written by Carla Baranauckas, Nichole M. Christian, Jane Gross, Constance L. Hays, Jan Hoffman, N.R. Kleinfield, Barbara Stewart and Robert F. Worth.

Copyright 2001 The New York Times Company

Testimonials: Family & Friends

From Cantor Fitzgerald, a Tribute from Gary's Wife, Eileen:

Gary Lee

Date of Birth: August 26, 1939

Department: Telecommunications /Voice Data

Position: Vice President of Cantor Fitzgerald/General Manager of eSpeed


Recently the family and friends of the Lee family gathered together to say goodbye to Gary Hamilton Lee. In our gathering instead of simply mourning Gary's passing, we came together to celebrate his life. Although our family may never fully understand the circumstances that surrounded 11 September 2001, in the days since the tragedy we have come to fully recognize all that Gary contributed to each of our lives. Whether he was known to us as Uncle Dude, Big Gary or Pop Pop the lives he touched while on this earth will only be the better for the chance they had to spend with Gary.

Gary, had just celebrated his 62nd birthday and his 40th wedding anniversary. Gary was a simple, quiet and extremely intelligent man that added a touch of sarcastic humor to his conversations and had knack for putting a smile on your face. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. His love for all the children in his life was unconditional. However, the apple of his eye was his one granddaughter, Julia Nicole, his Ju Ju. It was often amusing to see Gary in his element with 3-year old Julia. Whether it was riding around in a Barbie jeep or blowing their duck whistles at the Long Island ducks game, it was sometimes difficult to tell who was the bigger child, but Gary's love and absolute adoration of Ju Ju was always apparent.

Gary lived his life with a simple routine. He was a collector of stamps, eagles, bayonets and baseball cards. He had a particular passion for his 1948 Studebaker. There was not a Sunday during football season that Gary wasn't at a game that his son was coaching or Michael John, another special child in his life, played. Gary was such a simple man that barely ever boasted of his achievements that much of his family never knew that he was a Vice President of TeleCommunications at Cantor Fitzgerald and General Manager of Voice Data for ESpeed. We just knew he was dedicated and loved his work at the World Trade Center.

Gary touched us all in very different ways. Parts of him will live forever in each of our memories. Between us all we have learned what made Gary the wonderful man he was. The outpouring of support from his friends and colleagues has given his family such comfort in the past weeks. Hearing their stories of Gary at work and how he was a hard worker and great colleague allows us to feel close to him again.

Although Gary often got annoyed at people taking tons of pictures, we later found out that Gary had saved every picture and card his family gave him. As Gary saved and preserved the memories he thought he would look back at in years to come, we too must treasure the happy memories we have of Gary to not only provide comfort through this unspeakable loss; but most importantly to remind Julia as she gets older of the wonderful Grandfather that had loved her so. That is what Gary would have wanted. As his granddaughter Julia said, "Pop Pop is an angel now with big wings to keep him warm". Gary Hamilton Lee is gone but he will never be forgotten. God bless all our family and friends, and God bless America.

Eileen Lee, Wife

From Cantor Families Memorial:
I had the pleasure to know Garry. First as a Co-worker and not long after he became a friend. He loved his work and was very good at it. He did love his family very much. He would talk often about his granddaughter or his son in the Marines. I have a great deal of respect for Garry, not just for his work ethic but for his desire to experience life. From the Ozarks to Graceland, I always enjoyed hearing about his travels. My heart goes out to his family; I will never forget him.

Rob Kulawiak, Friend

I had the honor of working with Gary Lee for 3 years in the communications dept. at Cantor. He was so dedicated. I remember he was always the first to arrive at 7:10AM, faithfully, and some of us would tease him because he never took any vacation time. Gary also had a great sense of humor. There was not a day that went by where he did't put a smile on my face. God Bless your family, especially your precious grandaughter. Heaven became a far better place the moment you arrived. It was a privilege to know you. May you rest in peace.

Christine Beitz, Former Co Worker

Gary you were a great boss and an even better man. Thank you for putting up with me and solving all my problems. Every time I see a purple Studebaker I will think of you and smile!
God has a good man to laugh with up there.

Kate, employee

Very few individuals can make strong impacts on people's life with a soft touch like you did. When I encountered issues, both personally and professionally I sought your guidance and you were there. Thanks Again! Knowing you also meant learning to laugh at all aspects of life such as working, relaxing or just simply growing older. You encouraged and helped us to bring the best to all aspects of our lives. I was privileged to have share time with you as a co-worker and as a friend. You were always a true friend, a true professional.

Hugo Torres, Co-Worker and Friend

I had the pleasure as a salesperson of meeting Gary Lee in the Summer of '00. Although I presented a product and company that was entirely preposterous in it's business proposition, Mr. Lee was kind enough to give us his time and his attention. Even though he knew our product was undeliverable, nonetheless he agreed to buy it, if we could actually deliver it, and never rubbed our faces in the absurdity of it all.

I spent a lot of time in the WTC as a Salesperson in the summer of '00. I had an opportunity to meet a lot of good people. Gary Lee was one of them.

Rest in Peace.

Paul Hauser

Paul Hauser, Salesperson

You led by example. Your attention to detail and work ethic made me want to do my job better. You will be missed. Men like you do not come along everyday. You will always be in my prayers.

Marty Hogan, tel. tech. at Cantor

Glee - that's what he signed on his emails, and so what some of us fondly call him.

Gary was a fun guy to be with. He always had a smile on his face. Every time he'd walk into the Network Group's room he'd pretend to take attendance, taking notice of who was late or who recently took a day off. Before my wife and I took a vacation in Paris, he told me one of the most important French words I need to know to survive in Paris - SORTEE. I always give him credit for that. And who could forget the "blunder bus??

You will always be remembered, Glee.

Rich Pascual, co-worker

When I think back to the most enjoyable times during my last few years as Cantor, they usually include moments spent with Gary and the rest of the Support Services team.

I used to love to listen to Gary and his long-time friend Richard Bettig go at it over some obscure telcomm issue! They had both been in the business for so many years, having such an in-depth knowledge of the industry, and neither was afraid to voice his opinion!

Gary loved to play the market and to take trips to Atlantic City. He would get so jealous if I told him I was going out to Vegas on vacation!

Yet, all joking aside, there was another side to Gary. When he spoke about time he spent with his family - especially his grandaughter - his eyes would just light up; she brought him so much joy.

He was a true friend and I will miss him.

Michele MacLeod, Friend and former co-worker

I met Gary as I was beginning my career in the professional world. While I may have not yet looked the part, Gary accepted me for who I was and always made me look forward to returning to Cantor during winter and summer breaks. To this day, I remember stories Gary used to tell me. His enthusiasm for life will be missed.

Howard Tarlo, Former Co-Worker

I had limited dealing with Gary, working at Cantors London office, however when we did have cause to communicate he was always courteous and that sense of humour always shone through. As I watched the tragedy unfold, my immediate thoughts were of Gary, and that hopefully he managed to get out.
As the weeks went by, I logged onto the cantors web site hoping for confirmation that he was OK. Unfortunately it was not to be.
Three weeks ago I revisited the site and was moved by the tributes to Gary, and felt compelled to pay my respects and pass on my sympathies to his family.

Terry Fell, Ex colleague

I had the pleasure of working with Gary at two different companies, once at a telecomms carrier and later at Cantors. Both occasions were a delight - an intelligent man of simple needs and very personable, he was always great company. I learnt many things from Gary, some work related, much personal. Professional, caring and perceptive - a terrible loss to the world. I too knew him as Glee and shall always remember him as such with great affection.

Nick Harris, ex-colleague

I worked for and with Gary Lee when he was a Director of Sales at TRT/FTC Communications in 1990 and then when he started at Cantor Fitzgerald I handled the Cantor Fitzgerald account. To me Gary was my dutch uncle, always guiding me and helping me. First in Selling, and then giving me advice on changing jobs. He was great to work for and with, and I will never forget him. My best wishes to his wife, son, daughter in law and grand daughter.

Jeff Rimland, Former employee , and salesperson for

I will always remember going up to Cantor to test this one voice circuit to Milan.Gary would meet me on 105 floor and escort me to the 106 floor location.He was always cheerful and would show me in and tell me to call with the results before I left.In the several times I visited he was always pleasant even though I was unable to get the circuit working he realised I was doing my best,and able to joke about it too.Later when I went to work for Ixnet Gary was still the man to call at Cantor.My heart goes out to all his family and friends.

Charlie Reid, ex-Telecom Italia and IXnet engineer

I had the pleasure of speaking with Gary Lee on a regular basis from May 2001 through September 2001. I met him for the first time at the beginning of August 2001. It took 10 calls for him to finally agree to give me an appointment. He complimented my persistence and we both shared a laugh. I was supposed to come back at the end of September and see Gary with a proposal. I tribute a lot of my success in sales to my meeting Gary Lee. I had never called on such a big company before and he relaxed me and helped me tremendously.

Gary I will never forget you or the guidance and knowledge you passed on to me. Most of all I will NEVER forget you.

Rob Friedman, Salesperson

I had the opportunity to work with Gary while at MFS from 1994-1999. His good nature, sense of humor and industry knowledge made doing business with Cantor a pleasure.
Gary was a mentor to the sales team who helped MFS earn credibility during the company's early years. I always enjoyed working with Gary and learned much from the many conversations we had. Gary was certainly an accomplished professional, but more importantly he was a good person. Rest in Peace Gary, you will be missed.

Steven Curcio, Sales-MFS

When Gary hired me in April of 97 I thought I knew everything about communications and life. After being in Gary's close company everyday (we were the only 2 supporting voice comm at the time and we worked 2gether on any and all projects), I soon realized how much more I needed to learn...especially on issues regarding life experience's. Gary always put things in the correct prospective. His work ethic and dedication were unmatched. You could set your clock by his 7:10 arrival at work EVERYDAY. His unique sense of humour and stories provided needed "levity" in a sometime chaotic atomshere! He was always holding court in his office. As my boss I grew to admire and respect Gary greatly, yet he never made me feel like a subordinate.
Heaven is a better place w/Gary there.
I miss him, his friend Rocco

Rocco Melillo, My boss/confidant

A Tribute

Gary H. Lee - A Tribute

If you've read the posts so far, you have some idea of what Gary Lee was like. He was one of two-thousand nine-hundred ninety-six known victims of the 9/11 attacks. Cantor Fitzgerald, the company that Gary worked for, lost over 600 of its employees. These were people with family and friends, co-workers, neighbors and acquaintances. People who were loved, liked, whose presence was enjoyed, jokes laughed at.

Gary Lee was a mentor to some, a friend to many. Imagine the loss, not only to his family, or even to Cantor Fitzgerald, but to his country, of this man who had so much to offer. So many people, with dreams, hopes, problems, loves and hates, and limitless futures, were cut down without warning, slaughtered without mercy, for no other reason than an unreasoning hatred of a Nation, and a People, who believe in Freedom.

Gary Lee is a Grandfather, if I recall correctly, a second time. If I find that announcement I will post it. Another grandchild, like his beloved Ju-Ju. But this one he will never hold, never play with, never get to know or teach, never make laugh. The loss of Gary Lee is a loss, not only for those who knew him, but for those who will never know him.

To the best of my knowledge I did not know a single person who was murdered on 9/11. But, in a way, I knew them all. I am an American. Every one of those Victims of 9/11 were targeted because they were, or were believed to be, Americans. I don't know the political or religious affiliations of Gary Lee, or any of the 2,996 known victims. But they were all my fellow Americans. Each one. And as such, they were my friends. GOD Bless their Spirits, and watch over their families and friends.

GOD Bless America!