New York Times Portraits of Grief

Steven H. Berger

Steven H. Berger may have seemed daunting to some people. He was a supervisor of corporate tax auditors at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. On top of that, he knew a little about everything. His wife Susan says he always got the answers right on "Jeopardy" and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

To Ms. Berger, her husband was a good man who enjoyed the everyday things of life.

Mr. Berger, 45, was a big reader of encyclopedias when he was not rooting for the Dallas Cowboys or working on his cooking. At the office he was known as Emeril, a reference to the well-known Food Channel chef. He was ribbed for taking his leftovers to work.

He pampered his daughter, Melissa, 12, and they did many things together, including raking leaves and shoveling the snow. He was also the repairman around their New Jersey home.

Mr. Berger also loved his job. He spent almost four hours a day getting to and from his job at the World Trade Center, his wife said, who is an auditor for New York city. "He was pleased by little things," his wife said. "He did not need any of the big things that some people do. He loved working in the Trade Center. He had the view of the city."