Michael A. Asciak
Story Posted By: Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 30, 2001.
Relationship to the deceased:
While on vacation earlier this month, Michael Asciak picked up his toolbox and followed his wife, Elaine, to the elementary school where she teaches. After asking if anyone needed anything, he put together tables, mounted pencil sharpeners and adjusted blackboards. "He just wanted to do it," his wife said. "He was always helping someone." Though Mr. Asciak, 47, crunched numbers for Carr Futures, he was just as adept at fixing things with his hands. "Any kind of construction, heavy work, he liked that," Mrs. Asciak said. "It's interesting that he ended up in an office." At their home in Ridgefield, N.J., Mr. Asciak converted the attic into a family room and spent hours maintaining the yard. He often teased the neighbors about their own efforts before eagerly showing them short cuts. But his best student was his 11- year-old daughter. Not long ago, she fixed the VCR by herself. Michael A. Asciak called his wife, Elaine, early Tuesday to make sure she and their daughter were awake and ready to go to school. "He made sure we had made our dentist appointments and such," Elaine Asciak said. Asciak likes to worry about the details, said his wife, a schoolteacher. He worked in the back office of Carr Futures, an investment bank with offices in the World Trade Center. Co-workers called him "a man meticulous with numbers." Married 23 years, Asciak is dedicated to his family and especially his 10-year-old daughter, Loren. "She is the light of his life," said his wife. Friends and family filled their Ridgefield, N.J., home and neighborhood late Thursday for a prayer vigil for Asciak. Elaine Asciak was too heartbroken to go out and thank them, but she's keeping a light on in front of the family's ranch house until he comes home