Neil James Cudmore
Occupation:Risk Waters Group | Sales DirectorDedicated Memorial Sites:Reflections:The New York Times Portraits of Grief
As a boy, Neil J. Cudmore discovered a hobby that became his lifelong passion. At 8 or 9, he regularly disappeared for hours to the river by his childhood home near Essex, England, to fish. As he grew into an outgoing man, his fishing became an oddly solitary activity for someone who thrived in the company of others.
But it gave Mr. Cudmore, 39, a sales director with the Risk Waters Group, a way to balance an active social life with a gentle sensitivity that helped his friends through their sorrows and joys — whether making daily calls to a friend going through a painful breakup or giving a first-time father emotional support.
"It was not just that he made a lot of friends, but that he retained them," said Mr. Cudmore's father, James Cudmore. He recalled that at a gathering of his son's friends at a pub near a home he had in Dorset, England, friends from almost every phase of his life and from three continents gathered to share memories of him.
On one of those continents — in Hong Kong, to be exact — Neil Cudmore met Dinah Webster, an advertising manager at Risk Waters, who became his fiancée. They bought a house in Port Washington, N.Y., in July 2001 and planned to adopt a child. According to their friend William Rhode, they were putting down roots and finally settling down. "Neil was applying what he wanted for his life to his life," Mr. Rhode said. "He and Dinah really knew how to live passionately, especially in their love for each other."
Ms. Webster and Mr. Cudmore were at a Risk Waters meeting at Windows on the World on Sept. 11.