New York Times Portraits of Grief

Kathleen A. Burns

Kathleen A. Burns was born in Staten Island, where she lived with her parents for most of her life, in a nice home in a quiet, middle-class neighborhood.

If the upstairs light was on, Ms. Burns, 48, was probably reading a book. She never took work home. "Work was work and home was home," said her mother, Eunice.

Still, Ms. Burns climbed high in the corporate world, to the upper floors of the World Trade Center, where she was a vice president with the Fiduciary Trust International.

She was good to her parents, they said. The three watched television together in the evenings and the women went shopping. "She liked high-end things like Ann Taylor," her mother said.

Of course her life was more than work and home and shopping, her mother said. She had an interest in the wider world, and toured places like Egypt, Spain and Iceland.